Curcumin Molecule in Turmeric is Strong Against Cancer

The ancient root spice, Turmeric yields the molecule, Curcumin.  Studies are revealing the strong anti-cancer properties of this food.

The ancient root spice, Turmeric yields the molecule, Curcumin. Studies are revealing the strong anti-cancer properties of this food.

Molecules in  Cayenne, Tumeric, Garlic, Onion, Red Pepper, Basil, Rosemary, Allspice and other seasonings have potent molecules for fighting cancer according to the studies cited in the manuscript quoted in this blog post.

Blog readers: Below you will find the Abstract and two excerpted paragraphs from a 30 page manuscript dealing with Spices that contain cancer fighting molecules. This article gets technical in the “middle paragraphs” but provides a good introduction to how certain molecules in spices and condiments have particular studied molecules that perform particular important anticancer functions such as inhibiting inflammation, angiogenesis (blood supply to tumors), proliferation, invasion, and metastasis of malignant cells. It also discusses those molecules that enhance apoptosis or the built in suicide of spent or rogue cells we all have in our bodies. The charts at the end are practically helpful. I urge you to download this manuscript and read what you can of it.
You will certainly see the value of tumeric (curcumin), garlic and onions. It is not a discussion of foods such as berries and cruciferous foods which also contain potent anticancer molecules.


“Molecular Targets of Nutraceuticals Derived from Dietary Spices: Potential Role in Suppression of Inflammation and Tumorigenesis”

Bharat B. Aggarwal 1, Michelle E. Van Kuiken, Laxmi H. Iyer, Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar, and Bokyung Sung
Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of
Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Despite the fact cancer is primarily a preventable disease, recent statistics indicate cancer will become the number one killer worldwide in 2010. Since certain cancers are more prevalent in the people of some countries than others, suggests the role of lifestyle. For instance cancer incidence among people from the Indian subcontinent, where most spices are consumed, is much lower than that in the Western World. Spices have been consumed for centuries for a variety of purposes—as flavoring agents, colorants, and preservatives.

However, there is increasing evidence for the importance of plant-based foods in regular diet to

Plant based diet absolutely a foundation for good health.

Plant based diet absolutely a foundation for good health.

lowering the risk of most chronic diseases, so spices are now emerging as more than just flavor aids, but as agents that can not only prevent but may even treat disease. In this article, we discuss the role of 41 common dietary spices with over 182 spice-derived nutraceuticals for their effects against different stages of tumorigenesis.

Besides suppressing inflammatory pathways, spice-derived nutraceuticals can suppress survival, proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis of tumor cells. We discuss how spice-derived nutraceuticals mediate such diverse effects and what their molecular targets are. Overall our review suggests “adding spice to your life” may serve as a healthy and delicious way to ward off cancer and other chronic diseases.

Despite continued cancer research and positive breakthroughs, the overall rates of cancer over the past 50 years have not changed substantially. The percentage of people who develop cancer and the percentage of people who die from cancer have shown virtually no improvement over the past few decades. Among the chronic diseases, cancer is expected to become the number one killer in 2010, accounting for more deaths than even heart attack. Yet it is now believed that 90–95% of all cancers are attributable to lifestyle, while the remaining 5–10% can be attributed to faulty genes (2) . The implications of the above statements indicate that as of today, the best and only true “cure” for cancer is through prevention.
Cancer is a complicated disease that develops over a number of years (see Fig. 3). The basic theory of tumorigenesis starts with a normal cell that is transformed through the activation of proto-oncogenes and the suppression of tumor suppressor genes such as p53. After the cell has been transformed, it no longer behaves like a normal cell, but begins to exhibit the properties of a cancer cell. These transformed cells acquire the capability to proliferate uncontrollably through self-sufficiency in growth signals and insensitivity to anti-growth signals. In addition, these cells are able to evade apoptosis (cell suicide), resulting in tumor growth. The transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell along with uncontrolled proliferation (spreading) and evasion of apoptosis (cell suicide) is a process that can take between ten to twenty years. As the tumor continues to develop, this growth is aided through the development of new blood vessels. that provide nutrients to the tumor, allowing it to sustain itself and even begin to invade other tissues, resulting in metastasis that is ultimately lethal.
Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 July 22. Published in final edited form as:
Exp Biol Med (Maywood) . 2009 August ; 234(8): 825–849. doi:10.3181/0902-MR-78.
The above are excerpts from NIH INational Institutes of Health) Public Access Website.

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