Curcumin is a spice member of the ginger family. It is the yellow pigment dried powder called curcuminoid in turmeric. Curcumin is a popular spice in Asia particularly in India and in China where it is used as a medicine. Now it is not only known for its aromatic and flavorful properties for soups and stews but also for its medicinal and health properties.
For the past years, studies have been conducted showing other properties of curcumin as an antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and as an anti-carcinogen.
It is widely believed that curcumin, a component of turmeric spice, is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and pain reducer. However, there is now documented evidence that curcumin is actually a cancer killer. This is because in February 2012, an article was published in PLOSOne journal and entitled “Curcumin Induces Cell Death in Esophageal Cancer Cells through Modulating Notch Signaling” indicates that, by a process not fully understood by the researchers, curcumin actually causes the death of esophageal cancer cells. According to the researchers, it's becoming more clear that abnormal Notch signaling (a cell signaling system) is directly related to the development of esophageal cancer. This study suggests that curcumin inhibited the growth of esophageal cancer through an mechanism mediated through the Notch signaling pathway which is, as of yet, not fully understood by the scientific community. What is understood, however, is that curcumin does cause the death of esophageal cancer …
Researchers Subramaniam et al state:
Curcumin inhibits the growth of esophageal cancer cell lines; however, the mechanism of action is not well understood. It is becoming increasingly clear that aberrant activation of Notch signaling has been associated with the development of esophageal cancer. Here, we have determined that curcumin inhibits esophageal cancer growth via a mechanism mediated through the Notch signaling pathway.
Subramaniam et al continue by stating:
In this study, we show that curcumin treatment resulted in a dose and time dependent inhibition of proliferation and colony formation in esophageal cancer cell lines…..Curcumin treatment also resulted in reduced number and size of esophagospheres.
In the end, the authors concluded that:
Curcumin is a potent inhibitor of esophageal cancer growth that targets the Notch-1 activating ?-secretase complex proteins. These data suggest that Notch signaling inhibition is a novel mechanism of action for curcumin during therapeutic intervention in esophageal cancers.
The Subramaniam et al study conducted in 2012 is yet further evidence that natural supplementation and common spices such as turmeric can have a profound effect on human health.
Organic bulk turmeric powder easily can be obtained for just over $1 per ounce and incorporated into food, smoothies and drinks.
Without a doubt, more research should be done, not only on curcumin, but on a host of other spices, herbs and foods that may eliminate the need for toxic and dangerous cancer treatments in the future.
People dying from cancer have been alarmingly high. But that shouldn’t be a surprise in this generation of ours. Factors that can cause cancer aside from genetics and heredity are viruses, chemicals and stress and even food. Even if you are the type who is more than careful in what you put in your body or the type who likes to be squeaky clean, you are still prone to cancer. We encounter stress, chemical and pollution. Thus it does not spare us from developing this incurable disease. However, we can prevent from developing in the first place and proliferating. In our food choices most especially the best ones are natural and organic foods which are high in antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. Viruses and some chemicals can alter our cell’s DNA arrangement and program. When this happens, a malfunction occurs. And this malfunctioned cells will be the ones that will be produced from thereon. This is how cancer results from.
Curcumin has been studied to be helpful in the proliferation of cancer cells, and in fact it kills these cells. In the mass of the studies shown, more has to be conducted however if this spice is indeed that powerful to actually kill a cancer cell. And if not, maybe there is another spice or herb out there that just needs discovery.
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