The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties
of curcumin, the powerful yellow spice found in both turmeric and
curry powders, have been undergoing intense research in various
parts of the world.
According to researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center, curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for
development of melanoma and other cancers.
The spice stops laboratory strains of melanoma from proliferating
and pushes the cancer cells to commit suicide by shutting down nuclear
factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein known to induce an abnormal
inflammatory response that leads to an assortment of disorders such
as arthritis and cancer.
Researchers treated three different melanoma cell lines with curcumin
and evaluated the activity of NF-kB, as well as IKK, a protein that
triggers NF-kB. Results showed that despite how much curcumin was
used, the spice still:
- Prohibited both proteins from being activated
- Worked to stop the growth of melanoma
- Induced cell suicide
More on Curcumin
Curcumin has long been utilized in India and other Asian nations
for multiple uses, including a food preservative, a coloring agent,
a folk medicine to cleanse the body and as a spice to flavor food.
What's telling, however, is that in India (where the spice is widely
used) the prevalence of the top four U.S. cancers -- colon, breast,
prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower.
July 11, 2005
Daily July 14, 2005