The year 2012 was a significant one for the ancient spice curcumin. In February 2012, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University’s Kimmel Cancer Center in the US, with study results reported in Cancer Research, found irrefutable evidence for the use of this natural anti-inflammatory spice as a potential cancer treatment.
The researchers, led by Dr Karen Knudsen, Professor of Cancer Biology, Urology, and Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, were studying the effects of curcumin, which you may already know as the active component of the popular Indian curry spice called turmeric. In a pre-clinical study. the research team observed that the curcumin compound was able to suppress two nuclear receptor activators in the body (p300 and CPB) that can work against ADT, or androgen deprivation therapy, used for patients With prostate cancer Curcumin was able to hinder prostate tumour growth, by inhibiting both cancer cell cycle and survival. 1
“This study sets the stage for further development of curcumin as a novel agent to target androgen receptor signalling. It also has implications beyond prostate cancer since p300 and CBP are important in other malignancies, like breast cancer. In tumours where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent,” Dr Knudsen said.
That’s not all — in October 2012, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitåt (LMU) in Munich again tested how this curious spice compound would react in the presence of cancerous cells. Once more studying prostate cancer that is most often diagnosed after spreading throughout the body to form metastatic tumours on other organs, a German research team led by Dr Beatrice Bachmeier analysed curcumn’s ability to inhibit malignant cancer growth.
Curcumin, already known to inhibit inflammation in the body, was of special interest in the face of both prostate and breast cancers. According to the research team, breast and prostate cancers are often associated With chronic inflammation in the body, with tumour cells that may produce pro-inflammatory immunomodulators. With that in mind, the researchers proved that curcumin could decrease two specific inflammatory proteins in mice – correlated with a greater decline in metastases in the body German researchers considered the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin useful in breast and prostate cancer prevention, both largely inflammatory cancers.2
“This does not mean that the compound should be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies. However, it could play a positive role in primary prevention before a full-blown tumour arises — or help to avert formation of metastases. In this context, the fact that the substance is well tolerated is very important, because one can safely recommend it to individuals who have an increased tumour risk,” Dr Bachmeler said.
THE INDIAN SUPER-SPICE
Curcumin’s modern-day power is undisputed in scientific communities, with the two prominent cancer studies listed above being just the tip of the iceberg. Curcumin is the health-promoting chemical compound in turmeric responsible for giving the spice its deep, golden, yellow colour. You may have enjoyed curcumin, found in turmeric, many times before if you have eaten diverse dishes like Thai curry, Caribbean curry, Indonesian chilli paste and yellow rice and garam masala from India.
Curcumin as turmeric may be found in food, and it can also be isolated as a phytochemical belonging to a class of compounds known as curcuminoids. It is this isolated form of curcumin that is even more powerful, as evidenced by the many scientific studies that back its use.
A natural extract that was first used as a folk remedy in India more than 5,000 years ago has now been proven to offer some treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, fight drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, protect premature infants’ lungs, relieve pain associated with tendinitis, and even delay damage leading to cirrhosis of the liver. 3,4,5,6,7
Each capsule of CurcuminX4000 contains 200mg of highly effective Curcumin Phytosome, which in a recent published study showed an increase in utilisation of 29 times compared to ordinary Curcumin.
Now it makes sense why researchers have called the spice “Indian solid gold” In a 2007 study titled with the same name and published in the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, scientists analysed the extensive research that has spanned the last half century, proving curcumin’s role as an antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anticancer agent in some cases of allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, various malignant diseases and other chronic illnesses. The study concluded, “Considering the recent scientific bandwagon that multi-targeted therapy is better than mono-targeted therapy for most diseases, curcumin can be considered an ideal ‘Spice for Life’.
In addition to fighting whole-body inflammation with preventative factors for chronic disease, curcumin may also help to support joint and muscle health, aid in detox by optimising liver function, maintain heart health, enhance and balance the mood, reduce premature ageing in the skin, and offer some weight loss benefits when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan.
TURMERIC IS NOT CURCUMIN!
Curcumin and not the food spice turmeric has become a prize-fighter in the battle against inflammation, undoubtedly supported for its ability to shield against chronic disease. Turmeric only contains a spec of Curcumin but as the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” That is to say, you may not see many of the ‘miraculous” results associated with curcumin from eating turmeric in food or from taking a supplement at a low dose.
Ordinary curcumin is available as a supplement extract, but thanks to great advancements in nutritional science, a new form of curcumin can be taken that is up to 45 times better A patented form of curcumin called Meriva@ has been combined with lecithin to increase Meriva@ improved curcuminoid plasma levels by 20-fold and curcumin liver levels by much more than 20-fold in rats, compared to a standardised curcumin extract. 9 Meriva@ curcumin may be 20 to 45 times better utilised by the body.
Even in light of such compelling research, we prefer to let the health results speak for themselves. Hardy tells us, “As I wrote last time, I just want to let you know that my cancer count dropped down to 11 from 59 since [taking] the curcumin. I just took another blood test and will let you know. I do feel this time it will be zero.”
1.Shah, S A. Prasad S and Knudsen. K, E 2012. Targeting pioneering factor and hormone receptor cooperative pathways to suppress tumor progression. Cancer Research DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN11-0945
2. Killian, R H.. Kronski, E. Michatik, K. Barbierii O. Astigianq S, Sommerhoff, C. P.. Pfeffer, Nerlich. A G. and Bachmeier, E E. 2012. Curcumin inhibits prostate cancer metastasis in vivo by targeting the inflammatory cytokines CXCLI and -2. Carcinogenesis, DOI: 10.1093/carcin/bgs312,
3. Mishra, S. and Palanivelu, K 2008. The effect ofcurcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimers disease: An overview Ann Indian Acad Neurot 11 pp J3-q
4, Bai X. Oberley-Deegan R. E, Bai, A, Ovrutsky, A IRO Kinney Hu Weaver, Zhang, Honda 1 R and Chan E. D. 2016. Curcumin enhances human macrophage control ofMycobacteriüm tuberculosisinfection Respirology, DOE 10.1JJ1/resp12762.
5. Sakurai, Villarreal, Pv Husain, Liu; I, Sakurai, Iou, E, Torday j. S and Rehan, V. K 2013. Curcumin protects the developing lung against long-term hyperoxic injury. American Journal of Physiology — Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, DOI: 10.1152/aplung000822013
6. Buhrmann C, Mobasheri, A, Busch E, Aldinger, C. Stahlmann, R, Montoseri, A and Shakibaei M 2011 Curcumin modulatesnuclearfoctor B (NF- B)-meåiated inflammation in human tenocytes in vitro: ROLE OF THE PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL 3-1<1NASE/Akt PATHWAY Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286 (32): 28556 DOI 10.1074/jbcM111756180
7. Baghdosaryan, Claudet T., Kosters, A. Gumhold JVSilbeft Thüringer, A. Leski, KY fickert P, Karpen S J. and Trauner, M. 2010. Curcumin improves sclerosing cholangjtis in Mdr2-/- mice by inhibition Of cholangiocyte inflammatory response and portal myofibroblast proliferation. Cut 59 pp 521-530 101136/gut2009.18652&
8. Aggorwol Sundarqm, C, Malam N. and Ichikawa, H. 2007. Curcumin the Indian solid gold Adv Exp Med Biot 595 pp 1-75.
Marczylo, T Verschoyle, R D. Cooke D. N., Morazzoni, Steward W P and Gescher, I 2007 Jul Companson ofsystemjc availability of curcumin with that of curcumin formulated with phosphatidylcholine Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 60(2) pp 171-7. Epub 2006 Oct •19