Can you prevent cancer with diet and lifestyle changes? For the overwhelming majority of people, the answer is an emphatic, “Yes.” Despite what the cancer industry would like you to believe, food is medicine. And eating the right foods can help ward off cancer. Studies have shown that upwards of 90 percent of all cancers can be traced back to dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors — which means very few cancers are just a case of bad luck and genetic lottery.
The links between lifestyle, diet, and cancer have been well-established. A 2008 study led by scientists at the University of Texas in Houston found that “cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes.”
More recent studies have continued to hit on these correlations, such as this 2016 studyfrom researchers at Harvard University, which concluded, “A substantial cancer burden may be prevented through lifestyle modification.”
While you can’t go wrong with a plant-based diet, there are some fruits, vegetables and herbs that are highly regarded for their exceptional anti-cancer effects. These amazing benefits are derived from a number of plant nutrients:
Gingerols are found in the popular ginger root — and they pack quite the anti-cancer punch. There are a number of gingerols and other cancer-fighting compounds found in ginger root, such as zingerone, paradols and 6-shogaol. 6-gingerol, in particular, is highly regarded for its anti-cancer effects.
A 2016 study from the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology in India declared 6-gingerol as the most potent anti-cancer compound found in the ginger root. Other studies have shown compounds in ginger are able to suppress the growth and spread of cancer cells in breast and colorectal cancers.
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Sulforaphane is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens and cabbage. An organosulphate compund, sulforaphane has been extensively studied for its host of health benefits. As Natural Health 365 reports:
This amazing phytochemical destroys cancer cells, reduces inflammation that contributes to cancer, helps to prevent DNA changes that can lead to cancer, and even helps neutralize an enzyme that coverts procarcinogens into active carcinogens – pretty impressive benefits to be gained from a daily helping of humble Brussels sprouts.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for many things, like immune system support and wound healing. But did you know this essential nutrient also fights cancer? Studies show that vitamin C can reduce inflammation, fight free radicals and, in the right dose, it can even kill off cancer cells.
Quercetin is found in abundance in apples, grapes, red onions, and tomatoes. Studies show that a diet high in this plant nutrient can reduce cancer risk by up to 50 percent. This antioxidant nutrient can help protect cells and DNA from the damage caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that quercetin stops cancer in its tracks, killing off cancer cells before they have the chance to spread.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient known for its benefits for bone health and depression, but it helps prevent cancer, too. Studies have shown that it reduces cancer risk across the board, but it is especially beneficial for warding off prostate, colorectal and liver cancers.
Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric. Study after study has shown that this powerhouse of a nutrient can fight cancer at almost every turn. Earlier this year, it was revealed that someone cured their stage-3 myeloma (bone cancer) with turmeric and nothing else — a feat so great it was published in the British Medical Journal. Even proponents of the corrupt cancer industry couldn’t ignore that.
Found in grape seed extract, proanthocyanidins are known to cut the risk of cancer by a substantial margin — and more importantly, these potent nutrients are capable of slowing cancer growth and killing off cancer cells. Proanthocyanidins have also been shown to help prevent liver damage caused by chemotherapy.
We all know olive oil is good for us — but just how good is it? Oleocanthal is a plant nutrient found in olive oil that has the power to rupture cancer cell walls, leaving them to be destroyed by their own enzymes.
There are many other remarkable foods with an array of health benefits that can help keep cancer at bay. Learn more at Food.news.
Sources for this article include:
A systematic review published in the journal Depression and Anxiety suggests that aerobic exercise has significant antidepressant effects for people with clinical depression. More specifically, the review reported that three 45-minute sessions of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week may relieve clinical depression.
A team of researchers from Greece, the U.K., and Canada evaluated the antidepressant effects of aerobic exercise on people suffering from clinical depression. The research team looked at 11 studies with a total of 455 adult participants.
Instead of taking antidepressant drugs – which is the conventional treatment for depression – the participants underwent supervised moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for an average of 45 minutes, thrice a week for a period of 9.2 weeks. (Related: Stopping exercise can plunge people back into depression after only THREE DAYS, study concludes.)
The results showed that the exercise routine significantly improved the symptoms of depression, regardless of their severity. In addition, in trials for individuals with a lower risk of clinical depression, aerobic exercise produced moderate-to-large antidepressant effects. For trials with short?term exercise interventions or up to four weeks, exhibited large antidepressant effects.
Based on these findings, the research team concluded that aerobic exercise can relieve symptoms of depression and may be used as an effective treatment for this mental illness.
More on depression
Depression is a life-threatening and burdensome mental illness. In recent years, the number of people suffering from this mental illness has increased. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. Furthermore, it is estimated that 15 percent of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lives.
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A person with depression may experience the following symptoms:
- Changes in appetite which cause either weight loss or gain.
- Exhibiting purposeless physical activities or actions that show distress or worry like hand-wringing.
- Feeling worthless or guilty.
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions.
- Difficulty falling asleep.
- Sleeping excessively.
- Losing energy or feeling weak.
- Losing interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed.
- Slowed movements or speech that is observable by others.
- Thinking of death or having thoughts of killing oneself.
More ways to beat depression
In addition to aerobic exercise, there are other non-drug treatments available that help beat depression. These include the following:
- Curcumin: Research has found that curcumin, which is the primary active compound of turmeric, is a safe and effective alternative treatment for people with depression. However, the study only suggests it for people who do not show suicidal intentions or have a concurrent psychotic disorder.
- Saffron: Research has also reported that saffron extracts offer antidepressant effects. In a small study, researchers compared the effects of saffron with the effects of fluoxetine (an antidepressant drug) on people with depression and found that both produced similar improvements.
- Meditation: Meditation, which is an active training of the mind, can also help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This practice involves a 30- to 40-minute daily mind training to accept feelings and thoughts without judgment, as well as relaxing the mind and body.
- Yoga: Practicing yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety by decreasing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and improving breathing. A study on yoga found that the practice helps improve symptoms of depression in the long run.
Read more news stories and studies on natural ways to battle with depression by going to BeatDepression.news.
Author: Michelle Simmons
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Turmeric, a yellow curry spice used in Indian cuisine, has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin is one of the most well-studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric,1 having over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and powerful anticancer actions.
Cancer has an incredible global impact and places a vast financial and emotional burden on the families it touches. Nearly 40 percent of American men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and over $125 billion is spent annually on medical treatment and patient care.2
The American Cancer Society estimated there would be over 1.6 million new cases diagnosed in 2017, equating to 4,630 new cases and 1,650 deaths every day.3 The most common types of cancer include breast, colon, lung and prostate.4
Despite advances in cancer treatment protocols, scientists realize prevention plays an essential role in reducing the number of people who die from the disease. After 30 years of testing more than 1,000 different possible anticancer substances, the National Cancer Institute announced that curcumin has joined an elite group that will now be used in clinical trials for chemoprevention.5
Curcumin May Play a Multitargeted Role Against Cancer Cells
In this interview, Dr. William LaValley discusses the interaction curcumin has on cancer and the multiple ways this molecule affects cancer growth. If you have ever been diagnosed with cancer, it may feel as if it grew overnight when, in fact, cancer cells take years to develop.
The progression of a cell from normal growth to cancer happens through several stages. Deregulation of physiological and mechanical processes that initiate and promote the growth of cancer cells makes use of hundreds of genes and signaling routes, making it apparent a multitargeted approach is needed for prevention and treatment.
Research has demonstrated that curcumin has a broad range of actions as it is able to effect multiple cellular targets.6 Studies have found, based on the activities of curcumin in the body, the spice could be an effective method of cancer prevention, or in treatment when used in conjunction with conventional treatment protocols.
The multifaceted action of curcumin has made it useful in the treatments of several different types of diseases, including colon cancer,7 pancreatic cancer8 and amyloidosis.9
Curcumin triggers a variety of actions that affect the growth, replication and death of cancer cells. Cancer cells lose the ability to die naturally, which plays a significant role in the hyperproliferation of cells common to cancer. Curcumin is able to turn on the apoptosis (cell death) signaling pathway, enabling the cells to die within a natural time span.10
Cancer cells thrive in an inflammatory environment. Although short-term inflammation is beneficial for healing, long-term inflammation increases your risk of disease. Curcumin is able to block the pro-inflammatory response at several points and reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the body.11
The strong anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may match the effect of some drugs.12 Early in development, cancer cells learn to replicate and grow in an environment cells normally find inhospitable. Curcumin may change the signaling through several pathways, and put a stop to this replication.13
Curcumin may also stop the ability of cancer stem cells from replicating and reduce the potential for recurrence after treatment. Curcumin also helps support your immune system, capable of seeking out and destroying early cancer cells naturally.
Curcumin May Enhance Cancer Treatment and Chemotherapy
Some of the same ways that curcumin works in your body are the processes used to enhance your cancer treatments and chemotherapy.
While some chemotherapy has been developed to target specific cells, most therapy drugs are nonspecific and affect all cells in your body. Some studies in the past decade have demonstrated exciting potential for curcumin in the fight against cancer.
In addition to changes to your cells mentioned above, researchers have found curcumin may help protect your body against the damage caused from chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and it may enhance the effect of these same treatments, making them more effective.
These effects have been demonstrated in animal models treating head and neck tumors,14 and in culture of human breast, esophageal and colon cancers.15,16
Patients treated for chronic myeloid leukemia with chemotherapy exhibited a reduction in cancer growth factor when curcumin was added to the treatment protocol, potentially improving the results of the chemotherapy over being used alone.17
Protection against radiation therapy was demonstrated in a study using breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.18 At the end of the study those taking curcumin had less radiation damage to their skin.
Curcumin has also been effective against angiogenesis in tumors, or the growth of new blood vessels to feed the overgrowth of cancer cells, and against metastasis.19
Curcumin is able to affect cancer cells through multiple pathways and has fulfilled the traits for an ideal cancer prevention agent as it has low toxicity, is affordable and is easily accessible. However, while effective, it has poor bioavailability on its own.20
Poor Absorption Has One Benefit
In my interview with LaValley, he discussed the poor bioavailability of curcumin in raw form. Only 1 percent of the product will be absorbed; even supplements that have a 95 percent concentration are absorbed at 1 percent.
This means, when the supplement is taken alone, it is a challenge to maintain a therapeutic level. However, in the case of colon cancer, this poor absorption into the bloodstream may be an advantage.
As there is poor absorption, higher levels of curcumin stay in the intestinal tract for longer periods of time, having an effect on gastrointestinal cancers. In one study, participants took a 1,080 milligram (mg) dose per day of curcumin for 10 to 30 days between their initial biopsy and surgical removal.
The patients taking the supplement experienced a reduction in blood levels of inflammatory agent, improvement in their body weight, and an increased number of dying tumor cells.21
A team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and at Pondicherry University, India, discovered the bioactive ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, can both prevent and cure bowel cancers.22 The team found the compound triggered cancer cell death by increasing a level of protein labeled GADD45a.23 Lead author Rajasekaran Baskaran, Ph.D., who has more than 20 years of experience in cancer research, commented:24
“Studies on the effect of curcumin on cancer and normal cells will be useful for the ongoing preclinical and clinical investigations on this potential chemopreventive agent.”
As an increased bioavailability and absorption may also improve the actions of curcumin in the body, researchers have studied a variety of different delivery methods, including oral, intravenous, subcutaneous and intraperitoneal, as well as different formulations of the product.25
Bioavailability improved when curcumin was delivered as a nanoparticle, in combination with polylactic-co-glycolic acid, liposomal encapsulation26 and when taken orally with piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper.27
Multiple Types of Cancer Affected by Curcumin
Research demonstrates that while curcumin has multiple pathways through which it impacts cancer cells, the substance also has an effect on multiple types of cancer. Studies estimate that genetics may play a role in approximately 5 percent of all cancers, with the majority of cancer growth attributed to lifestyle choices.28
Research demonstrates curcumin exhibits activity against breast cancer and decreases the toxic effect against some of the chemotherapy agents commonly used.29 Mitomycin C is a potent antineoplastic drug. However, prolonged use may lead to kidney and bone marrow damage, with secondary tumor growth. Curcumin appears to reduce the side effects of Mitomycin C and improve the efficiency of the drug at the same time.30
Another study demonstrated that curcumin inhibited the growth and metastasis of lung cancer cells.31 One of the deadliest cancers worldwide, pancreatic cancer, also appears to respond to the use of curcumin in preclinical trials.32 The antiproliferative effects on pancreatic cancer appeared to be from a reduction in oxidative stress and angiogenesis and triggering apoptosis of cancer cells.
Apoptosis, anti-inflammatory actions, reduction in angiogenesis and reduction in the adverse effects of chemotherapeutic agents has also led researchers to consider curcumin an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of liver cancer.33 Curcumin also inhibited and slowed the development of bladder cancer in rats,34 stopped the formation of metastasis in prostate cancer,35 and when combined with ultrasound, increased death of cervical cancer cells.36
But not all scientists are convinced by the number of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating the multiple effects curcumin has on the inflammatory response and cancers, as well as the low toxicity profile.37 In one meta-analysis, researchers claimed curcumin could not meet the criteria for a good drug candidate.38
More Benefits to Curcumin
Curcumin offers additional benefits to your health. It may work as well as some anti-inflammatory medications to treat arthritic conditions.39 In combination with aerobic exercise, curcumin was found to improve endothelial cell function in postmenopausal women,40 and was also found to ameliorate arterial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the elderly.41
Disease processes may increase oxidative stress and free radical formation in your body. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant,42 but also may boost the function of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.43
Your brain can develop new connections powered by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).44 Reduced levels of this hormone may be linked to depression and Alzheimer’s disease. However, curcumin can increase your levels of BDNF45 and effectively reduce your potential for suffering from age-related reduction in brain function.46
Researchers have also discovered that curcumin has an effect on several pathways in your body that may reverse insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.47 The reduced potential for metabolic syndrome and obesity is related to the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, which may also have an effect on heart disease, atherosclerosis and Type 2 diabetes.48
Genetic Regulation May Be One Powerful Way Curcumin Fights Cancer
It is becoming widely accepted that cancer is not a preprogrammed inevitability, but rather the result of the impact of your environment on genetic regulation that may trigger cancer cell growth. There are multiple influences that may damage or mutate DNA, and consequently alter genetic expression, including:
|Free radical damage||Toxins and pollution|
|Chronic infections||Infectious toxic by-products|
|Hormonal imbalances||Chronic inflammation|
Researchers have demonstrated curcumin may affect more than 100 different pathways in your cells, helping to prevent hyperproliferation of cell growth characteristic of cancer, and aiding in the treatment of the disease. Through the reduction of inflammation, prevention of the development of additional blood supply to support cancer cell growth and destruction of mutated cells to reduce metastasis, curcumin has great medicinal and preventive potential.
Several studies have demonstrated an impact on transcription factors and signaling pathways, and have reviewed the molecular mechanisms curcumin uses to regulate and modulate gene expression. 49,50,51 Overall, curcumin is powerful, cost-effective and has a low toxicity profile.52
Using a Curcumin Supplement
Turmeric is a wonderful spice used in Eastern culture cuisine. It is one spice I recommend for your kitchen as it works well with tomato sauces, soups, leafy greens, cauliflower, stir-fries and stews. Choose a high-quality turmeric powder instead of curry powder as studies have found some curry powders have very little curcumin.
If you are looking for therapeutic effects, you may want to consider a supplement. It is difficult to achieve a dose of curcumin used in research solely from your diet. Typical anticancer doses range between 8 grams and 12 grams of curcumin.
You can increase the absorption by making a microemulsion, combining 1 tablespoon of curcumin powder with one or two egg yolks and 1 to 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil, as the curcumin is fat soluble. Then use a hand blender on high speed to emulsify the powder.
Absorption may also be increased through boiling. Add 1 tablespoon into a quart of boiling water. (If you add it to room temperature water and then boil, it doesn’t work as well.) After boiling it for 10 minutes, you will have created a 12 percent solution and you can drink this once it has cooled down. The curcumin will gradually fall out of the solution over time, and in about six hours it will be a 6 percent solution, so it is best to drink the water within four hours.
Curcumin is a very potent yellow pigment and can permanently discolor surfaces if you aren’t careful. To avoid inadvertently staining your kitchen yellow, I recommend you perform any mixing under the hood of your stove with the exhaust fan on to make sure no powder gets into your kitchen.
Alternatively, it is far easier to take curcumin in supplement form — just make sure it’s a high-quality brand that is formulated to increase bioavailability. And, look for a turmeric extract with at least 95 percent curcuminoids. Just be aware that these are relatively rare and hard to find.
Article references: Available here.
It’s no secret that turmeric offers a host of health benefits. This flavorful, vibrantly colored spice has risen to fame for its ability to fight many types of cancer, ward off inflammation, and may even be useful in the treatment of conditions like type 2 diabetes. Turmeric has definitely earned its place on the spice rack and in the medicine cabinet for good reason — but scientists are still working to uncover the mysteries of this medicinal herb. Studies have already shown that many of turmeric’s health benefits stem from one of the herb’s specialized plant compounds, named “curcumin.”
Researchers from the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine have been studying how curcumin works against cancer at a cellular level. Working alongside scientists from Peking University and Zhejiang University, the team has discovered how turmeric exacts its anticancer effects.
Understanding curcumin and cancer
As Newswise reports, the scientists discovered that curcumin “binds to the kinase enzyme dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase 2 (DYRK2) at the atomic level. This previously unreported biochemical interaction of curcumin leads to inhibition of DYRK2 that impairs cell proliferation and reduces cancer burden.”
Sourav Banerjee, Ph.D., UC San Diego School of Medicine postdoctoral scholar and leader of the research, explained that curcumin’s ability to inhibit DYRK2 impedes proteasome, a part of the cell which is responsible for destroying unneeded or damaged proteins. In mice, this suppression is associated with cancer risk reduction. Several types of cancer, like triple negative breast cancer and multiple myeloma, are “proteasome-addicted” cancers. By regulating proteasome, tumor formation can be inhibited.
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Co-senior author Jack E. Dixon, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, commented, “Our results reveal an unexpected role of curcumin in DYRK2-proteasome inhibition and provide a proof-of-concept that pharmacological manipulation of proteasome regulators may offer new opportunities for hard-to-treat triple-negative breast cancer and multiple myeloma treatment.”
“Our primary focus is to develop a chemical compound that can target DYRK2 in patients with these cancers,” he added.
Health benefits of turmeric
Turmeric offers a wide array of health benefits, many of which are perhaps beyond the scope of conventional science. Indeed, try as we might, scientists may never understand the gifts of Mother Nature as well as they think. While curcumin is regarded as turmeric’s most active biological compound, studies have shown that in some arenas, the whole plant performs better than curcumin alone. More, the golden-hued root offers many benefits which cannot be attributed to curcumin alone.
Like so many other plant nutrients, it appears that the compounds in turmeric work together in synergy — and so, divvying them up as modern scientists are wont to do, may not actually be the most sensible approach. Regardless, turmeric and its compounds have repeatedly shown that herbal medicine is real medicine, with real benefits that can be proven with science.
Recent research has shown that turmeric is an ideal alternative for patients with type 2 diabetes, for example. In a recently published study, turmeric was found to address several issues seen in type 2 diabetics, including the characteristic insulin resistance and high blood sugar.
Turmeric has many other benefits to offer. It can improve digestion, support heart health, boost your mood and more. Learn more about the healing power of turmeric and other spices, herbs and more at Food.news.
Sources for this article include:
Author: Vicki Batts
Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin — the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color — improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers.
The research, published online in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, examined the effects of an easily absorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in people without dementia, as well as curcumin’s potential impact on the microscopic plaques and tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Found in turmeric, curcumin has previously been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in lab studies. It also has been suggested as a possible reason that senior citizens in India, where curcumin is a dietary staple, have a lower prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and better cognitive performance.
Powdered turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a host of illnesses. It inhibits inflammatory reactions, has anti-diabetic effects, reduces cholesterol among other powerful health effects. A recent study led by a research team in Munich showed that it can also inhibit formation of metastases.
“Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inï¬‚ammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and major depression,” said Dr. Gary Small, director of geriatric psychiatry at UCLA’s Longevity Center and of the geriatric psychiatry division at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and the study’s first author.
The double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 40 adults between the ages of 50 and 90 years who had mild memory complaints. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for 18 months.
All 40 subjects received standardized cognitive assessments at the start of the study and at six-month intervals, and monitoring of curcumin levels in their blood at the start of the study and after 18 months. Thirty of the volunteers underwent positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to determine the levels of amyloid and tau in their brains at the start of the study and after 18 months.
The people who took curcumin experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention abilities, while the subjects who received placebo did not, Small said. In memory tests, the people taking curcumin improved by 28 percent over the 18 months. Those taking curcumin also had mild improvements in mood, and their brain PET scans showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus than those who took placebos.
The amygdala and hypothalamus are regions of the brain that control several memory and emotional functions.
Four people taking curcumin, and two taking placebos, experienced mild side effects such as abdominal pain and nausea.
The researchers plan to conduct a follow-up study with a larger number of people. That study will include some people with mild depression so the scientists can explore whether curcumin also has antidepressant effects. The larger sample also would allow them to analyze whether curcumin’s memory-enhancing effects vary according to people’s genetic risk for Alzheimer’s, their age or the extent of their cognitive problems.
“These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years,” said Small, UCLA’s Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging.
The paper’s authors, in addition to Small, are Prabha Siddarth, Dr. Zhaoping Li, Karen Miller, Linda Ercoli, Natacha Emerson, Jacqueline Martinez, Koon-Pong Wong, Jie Liu, Dr. David Merrill, Dr. Stephen Chen, Susanne Henning, Nagichettiar Satyamurthy, Sung-Cheng Huang, Dr. David Heber and Jorge Barrio, all of UCLA.
The study was supported by the Ahmanson Foundation, the Marshall and Margherite McComb Foundation, the McMahan Foundation, Bob and Marion Wilson, the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.
Theravalues Corp. provided the curcumin and placebos for the trial, as well as funds for laboratory testing and for Small’s travel to present preliminary findings at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
Image credit: Pixabay
Turmeric is a bright yellow root with a tan skin that is typically used in Middle Eastern, Northern African, and Southeast Asian cuisine. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry spice blends, and it makes a great addition to soups, meats, salads, stir-frys, and more. It’s a very versatile herb that enhances the flavor of a great many dishes.
Curcuminoids are the beneficial compounds within turmeric. Specifically, curcumin, one of these specific compounds, is considered to be the most potent, medicinally powerful, cancer-killing component of turmeric. Curcumin helps to detoxify and rejuvenate the liver, reduces negative effects of iron overload (and this is important because iron with sweet wormwood is a powerful cancer killer, too), increases antioxidant capacity in the body, regenerates brain cells and improves cognitive function, reduces likelihood of and treats Alzheimer’s, is anti-inflammatory, reduces heart disease risk, reduces depression, and fights premature aging.
How does curcumin kill cancer? It literally kills cancer.
The Murderous Aspect Of Curcumin
The human body contains approximately 10-13 trillion cells. We replace these cells at the rate of approximately 100 to 130 billion each day. A tightly regulated, cell- suicide process is known as programmed cell death or apoptosis destroys cells.
Cancer cells don’t suicide. They turn off the suicide genes.
Curcumin activates the death receptors through many different means, ways we are still learning. One of the more interesting ways is by activating enzymes that literally chop up the proteins within the cells. It is believed that one of the reasons cancer cells do not develop some sort of resistance to curcumin like they do with chemo drugs, is due to the fact that curcumin activates the cells death in so many different ways. We also don’t know exactly why curcumin doesn’t kill normal healthy cells, but it doesn’t. It seems to simply target the cells that were supposed to have already died.
Our bodies want to dispose of most of the curcumin we eat. Without help, our ability to absorb curcumin would be very low.
How to Increase the Bioavailability of Curcumin
The only problem with curcumin is that our liver, in an effort to prevent excessive drugs and supplements and such, inhibits most of the absorption of curcumin (a process called glucuronidation), which makes the compound much less effective than it could be. But there are ways to increase the body’s ability to absorb curcumin.
Mix Turmeric With Black Pepper
Piperine is the alkaloid responsible for the pungency of black pepper. This compound inhibits certain enzyme metabolism functions, which normally cause the disposal of what the body considers to be excess curcumin (this effect is not limited to curcumin, black pepper can increase the absorption of other supplements, too). Curcumin absorption increases up to 2,000% or more with just a small amount of piperine.
Consume Turmeric with Beneficial Fats
Curcumin is fat-soluble. Without fat, the compound doesn’t dissolve properly, and then curcumin has a tough time getting into the gut and being absorbed into the bloodstream and then into the cells that needs the compound.
Try consuming turmeric with healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil.
Eat Turmeric With Quercetin
Quercetin is a plant flavonoid that inhibits the enzyme that deactivates curcumin.
Foods high in quercetin include red wine, red grapes, onions, green tea, apples, cranberries, blueberries, black plums, red leaf lettuce, raw kale, chicory greens, raw spinach, sweet peppers, snap beans and raw broccoli. The best whole food source of quercetin is capers.
If you’re looking to kill cancer, or get the other benefits from turmeric, don’t just pop a few curcumin pills. We are discovering the incredible synergistic relationships of many different foods. The best way, really the only way, to get your body to a place of optimum health is by consuming a wide variety of produce and eliminating toxic, refined foods. Check out this golden milk tea recipe and see Foods, Vitamins, and Herbs That Kill Cancer.
About the author:
Michael Edwards is the founder, owner, editor-in-chief, and janitor for Organic Lifestyle Magazine and Green Lifestyle Market. At age 17, Michael weighed more than 360 pounds. He suffered from ADHD, allergies, frequent bouts of illness, and chronic, debilitating insomnia.
Conventional medicine wasn’t working. While he restored his health through alternative medicine he studied natural health and became immersed in it.
Originally Posted: http://www.naturalnews.com/048579_turmeric_curcumin_bioavailability_cancer_remedy.html
Did you know there are over 7,000 studies researching the efficacy of turmeric and it’s active component curcumin?
You’ve certainly heard the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric touted by practitioners, blogs, and wellness publications. I believe this highly-pigmented herb belongs in everyone’s wellness arsenal, both as long-term maintenance and acute inflammation relief. Here’s a simple way to get turmeric into your day!
DIY Turmeric Supplement
I add turmeric to curries and vegetable soups on a regular basis, but, while this is certainly providing some benefit, it is not a highly concentrated dose of the herb. When I was in need of acute inflammation help, I added a couple tablespoons of turmeric in half a cup of water and gulped (or rather gagged) it down. If you’ve ever eaten straight turmeric, you know how bitter it can taste.
Now, when I feel the need for a turmeric hit, I’ll reach for these turmeric bombs. They are an easy way to get the benefits of turmeric without the bitter flavor. Even better, they contain a couple special ingredients to work synergistically with the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.
This concept of turmeric-honey pills was recently told to me by my friend Anna Matriotti, an experienced herbalist, nutritional therapist and president of the Washington chapter of the American Herbalist Guild. She shared this tip in her presentation at the 2015 Green Gathering, an herb/wildcrafting workshop.
How to increase the efficacy of turmeric
Did you know that certain ingredients can increase the bioavailability of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric? I’ve incorporated the following ingredients into the Turmeric Bombs to up-the-turmeric-ante:
- Quercetin, a bioflavenoid, inhibits an enzyme that decreases the activity of curcumin.
- Black pepper contains the potent alkaloid piperine, which has been shown to increase the bio-availability of curcumin up to 150%.
- Fatty acids have been shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric (source).
Two variations for Turmeric Bombs
I’ve included two variations for turmeric bombs: one made with honey and one made with coconut oil or ghee.
The honey variation is easier to swallow, so it is better suited to children. The honey also masks the bitter taste of the turmeric when the pill is swallowed. I would recommend starting with this option.
The coconut oil/ghee option has the benefit of being sugar free and also includes the fatty acids that improve the absorption of curcumin. However, the pills flatten slightly on the baking sheet into rougher shapes, which may be more difficult to swallow. They also have a slight flavor when swallowed.
The active compound curcumin, found in turmeric, has been widely studied for its potent anti-inflammatory effects. These DIY Turmeric supplements contain quercetin and black pepper, two ingredients shown to improve the bioavailability of curcumin.
- 1/3 cup organic ground turmeric (recommended brands available here at Amazon and here at Thrive)
- About 1 Tbs. quercetin powder (about 10 capsules, emptied), available here
- Big pinch of finely ground black pepper
- Binding agent, choose ONE of the following (you will need about 3 Tbs.)
- Raw honey
- Coconut oil, available here
- Grassfed ghee, best price available here at Thrive
- Unbleached parchment paper, available here
- Line a baking sheet with the unbleached parchment paper. Make room in your freezer to put the cookie sheet for a few hours when the Turmeric Bombs need to set.
- If you are like me and have a tendency to spill things, wear an apron! Turmeric powder stains clothing, and the powder can get on your clothes if you stir the mixture too vigorously.
- Select one of the binding agents. You will need approximately 3 tablespoons. If you choose raw honey and it is thick, melt it in a saucepan over very low heat until it is pourable. Do the same with the coconut oil or ghee so it is liquid, but not hot.
- In a bowl, stir together the turmeric, quercetin, pepper, and binding agent. If using honey, you should have a thick and pliable mixture. If using oil, you should have a thick mixture with which you can form pills.
- For the honey variation, pinch of small amounts of the “dough,” roll between your palms, and place on the baking sheet. For the oil variation, use a spoon to scoop small pill shapes onto the baking sheet.
- Freeze until firm, then transfer to a storage container and keep in the freezer.
- Take the turmeric bombs as needed. You can’t overdose on them. However, if you take a lot of the oil-based ones, the fat content may upset your stomach. It using the honey version, keep in mind that it does contain sugar (albeit unrefined and enzyme-rich sugar).
A groundbreaking new study published in the journal Anticancer Research reveals that one of the world’s most extensively researched and promising natural compounds for cancer treatment: the primary polyphenol in the ancient spice turmeric known as curcumin, has the ability to selectively target cancer stem cells, which are at the root of cancer malignancy, while having little to no toxicity on normal stem cells, which are essential for tissue regeneration and longevity.
Titled, “Curcumin and Cancer Stem Cells: Curcumin Has Asymmetrical Effects on Cancer and Normal Stem Cells,” the study describes the wide range of molecular mechanisms presently identified by which curcumin attacks cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are the minority subpopulation of self-renewing cells within a tumor colony, and which alone are capable of producing all the other cells within a tumor, making them the most lethal, tumoriogenic of all cells within most if not all cancers. Because CSCs are resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, and may even be provoked towards increased invasiveness through surgical intervention, they are widely believed to be responsible for tumor recurrence and the failure of conventional treatment.
The study identified the following 8 molecular mechanisms by which curcumin targets and kills cancer stem cells:
- Down-regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6): IL-6 is classified as a cytokine (a potent biomolecule released by the immune system) and modulates both immunity and inflammation. It’s over expression has been linked to the progression from inflammation to cancer. Curcumin inhibits IL-6 release, which in turn prevents CSC stimulation.
- Down-regulation of interleukin-8 (IL-8): IL-8, another cytokine, is released after tumor cell death, subsequently stimulating CSCs to regrow the tumor and resist chemotherapy. Curcumin both inhibits IL-8 production directly and indirectly.
- Down-regulation of interleukin-1 (IL-1): IL-1, a family of cytokines, are involved in response to injury and infection, with IL-1 β playing a key role in cancer cell growth and the stimulation of CSCs. Curcumin inhibits IL-1 both directly and indirectly.
- Decrease CXCR1 and CXCR2 binding: CXCR1 and CXCR2 are proteins expressed on cells, including CSCs, which respond to the aforementioned cytokines in a deleterious manner. Curcumin has been found to not only block cytokine release, but their binding to these two cellular targets.
- Modulation of the Wnt signaling pathway: The Wnt signaling pathway regulates a wide range of processes during embryonic development, but are also dsyregulated in cancer. Curcumin has been found to have a corrective action on Wnt signaling.
- Modulation of the Notch Pathway: The Notch signaling pathway, also involved in embryogenesis, plays a key role in regulating cell differentiation, proliferation and programmed cell death (apoptosis), as well as the functioning of normal stem cells. Aberrant Notch signaling has been implicated in a wide range of cancers. Curcumin has been found to suppress tumor cells along the Notch pathway.
- Modulation of the Hedgehog Pathways: Another pathway involved in embryogenesis, the Hedgehog pathway also regulates normal stem cell activity. Abnormal functioning of this pathway is implicated in a wide range of cancers and in the stimulation of CSCs and associated increases in tumor recurrence after conventional treatment. Curcumin has been found to inhibit the Hedgehog pathway through a number of different mechanisms.
- Modulation of the FAK/AKT/FOXo3A Pathway: This pathway plays a key role in regulating normal stem cells, with aberrant signaling stimulating CSCs, resulting once again in tumor recurrence and resistance to chemotherapy. Curcumin has been found
- in multiple studies to destroy CSCs through inhibiting this pathway.
As you can see through these eight examples above, curcumin exhibits a rather profound level of complexity, modulating numerous molecular pathways simultaneously. Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy is incapable of such delicate and “intelligent” behavior, as it preferentially targets fast-replicating cells by damaging their DNA in the vulnerable mitosis stage of cell division, regardless of whether they are benign, healthy or cancerous cells. Curcumin’s selective cytotoxicity, on the other hand, targets the most dangerous cells – the cancer stem cells – which leaving unharmed the normal cells, as we will now learn more about below.
Curcumin and Normal Stem Cells
Normal stem cells (NSCs) are essential for health because they are responsible for differentiating into normal cells that are needed to replace damaged or sick ones. If curcumin were to kill normal cells, like radiation and chemotherapy, it would not provide a compelling alternative to these treatments. The study addressed this point:
“The safety of curcumin has been long established, as it has been used for centuries as a dietary spice. The question arises as to why curcumin does not seem to have the same deleterious effects on normal stem cells (NSCs) as it does on CSCs. There are several possible reasons that curcumin has toxic effects on CSCs, while sparing NSCs.”
The study offered three potential explanations for curcumin’s differential or selective cytotoxicity:
- Malignant cells take in much more curcumin than normal cells.
- Curcumin alters the microenvironment of cells in such a way that is adverse to CSCs and beneficial to NSCs.
- Curcumin may not only directly attack CSCs, but may encourage them to differentiate into non-lethal, more benign cells.
This study adds growing support to the idea that safe, time-tested, natural substances are superior to synthetic ones. Given the evidence that a safe and effective alternative may already exist, chemotherapy, radiation and even surgery may no longer be justified as the first-line standard of care for cancer treatment. In fact, a significant body of evidence now implicates these treatments in worsening prognosis, and in some cases driving cancer stem cell enrichment in tumors. Radiotherapy, for instance, has been found to induce cancer stem cell like properties in breast cancer cells, essentially increasing their malignancy and tumoriogenicity by 30 fold. This is hardly progress when one considers the role that CSCs play, especially in contributing to post-treatment secondary cancers.
Turmeric and its components, of course, are not FDA approved drugs, and by definition the FDA will not allow an unapproved substance, natural or synthetic, to prevent, treat, diagnosis or cure a disease. This means that you will not be seeing it offered by an oncologist as an alternative to chemotherapy or radiation any time soon. This does not, however, mean that it does not work. We have gathered over 1500 citations from the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database MEDLINE, accessible through pubmed.gov, and which can be viewed on our database here: Turmeric Research, showing that curcumin and related turmeric components possess significant anti-cancer activity. Truth be told, the information is so extensive, revealing over 700 possible health benefits, that I believe this plant embodies a form of intelligence and even compassion. You can learn more about this supposition here: Turmeric’s Healing Power: A Physical Manifestation of Compassion? I also discuss this concept in my lecture, Food As Medicine Rebooted, which you can watch below:
Of course, the point is not to wait until one has such a severe health problem that taking heroic doses of spices or herbs becomes the focus. It is important to remember that ancient cultures used spices like turmeric mainly in culinary doses, as part of their dietary practices. These smaller amounts, delivered mainly as whole food extracts, likely constituted effective preventive strategies – perhaps preventing the need for radical, heroic intervention later in life. If you read our previous article, Turmeric: A Wellness Promoting Tonic at Low Doses, Research Reveals, you’ll see this point explored in greater depth in light of a human clinical study.
For more research on turmeric and cancer, you can view our two database sections on these topics below:
For a far more in depth exploration of the truth about cancer, natural cancer cures, the many causes of the present day cancer epidemic, and testimony from camcer scientists, physicians and researchers, sign up for the upcoming free, 11-part docu-series ‘The Truth About Cancer,’ which goes live March 30th.
Article Source: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmerics-smart-kill-properties-put-chemo-radiation-shame?page=1
Author: Sayer Ji
A study from Zheijian Provincial People’s Hospital in Zheijiang, China indicates that a compound in turmeric known as curcumin, which gives the spice its characteristic saffron-like color, is capable of inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) within triple negative breast cancer cells.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), so named because the cells do not have the characteristic receptors for estrogen, progesterone and Her2/neu, is considered the most treatment resistant, primarily because these ‘missing receptors’ are required for many of the most popular conventional treatments to work, e.g. Tamoxifen targets estrogen receptors. For this reason, TNBC is considered the most aggressive, the most likely to be treated with less-targeted (and therefore more toxic) forms of chemotherapy, and the soonest to return when treatment fails.
Approximately 15-25% of all breast cancer cases are triple negative. Unfortunately, however, the most visible non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing awareness to the condition, the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, is focused almost exclusively on raising awareness and money for a future pharmaceutical “cure” – much in the same way as its partner, Susan G. Komen, and the larger breast cancer awareness organization, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, act as if removing and addressing the obvious causes of cancer, e.g. carcinogenic chemical and radiation exposures, were not the first priority. For those suffering through or recovering from treatment right now, or trying to decide what to do with a new diagnosis, this latest Chinese study is promising.
Detractors, of course, point out that this latest curcumin research occurred on the level of a cell study, which in the pyramidal power structure of “evidence-based medicine,” where the randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled human clinical study is the sole determinant of the ultimate truth, is the most insignificant, and least compelling as far informing treatment decisions. This view, however, is rather naive, insofar the criteria for determining a substance’s potential for future use as an FDA drug is not its effectiveness, safety or availability to those in need, rather, how proprietary and profitable the formula is to manufacture, distribute and market to consumers. The “gold standard” of evidence-based medicine therefore becomes literally: “those who own the gold make the standard.”
This is not the first study to reveal curcumin’s potential value in treating breast cancer. A growing body of experimental evidence clearly shows that curcumin provides a potential drug alternative. GreenMedInfo.com has indexed over 60 in vitro and animal studies demonstrating either curcumin’s direct anti-breast cancer activity, or, its ability to enhance breast cancer’s sensitivity to conventional chemotherapy. Also, the open access project has indexed over 1500 abstracts from the National Library of Medicine on its potential value in over 500 health conditions: Turmeric Breast Cancer.
Other pre-clinically confirmed natural candidates for combating triple negative breast cancer include:
For a far wider dataset on potential natural breast cancer solutions, and common avoidable causes, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Breast Cancer Research health guide: Natural Breast Cancer Research
 Xiao-Dong Sun, Xing-E Liu, Dong-Sheng Huang. Curcumin induces apoptosis of triple-negative breast cancer cells by inhibition of EGFR expression. Mol Med Report. 2012 Sep 26. Epub 2012 Sep 26. PMID: 23023821
Republished from: http://wakeup-world.com/2014/04/24/research-curcumin-is-a-triple-negative-breast-cancer-killer-2/
While pharmacies carry drugs that cover up symptoms, a personal farmacy provides beneficial herbs, spices, roots, vegetables, nuts, fruits, barks, clays, seaweeds and berries that come straight from a garden or are wild crafted from nature. These natural substances don’t block normal bodily functions like pharma drugs do, but instead work in a purifying way at the cellular level without bringing all the harmful side effects. These natural substances are curative in a way that works with the body’s natural processes. More importantly, using natural substances is a great prevention strategy.
Naturally anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiseptic, the following five natural resources are a must-have for any home farmacy. This beginner’s list contains five staple, go-to detoxifiers that are perfect in the fight against toxins, cancer and disease.
One: Apple cider vinegar with the mother
Apple cider vinegar is an inexpensive go-to remedy with a multitude of uses. As a daily tonic, a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a shot of water before meals provides necessary nutrients, probiotics and enzymes which aid in proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Apple cider vinegar is only medicinal when the “mother” is still intact. Unlike processed vinegars, which have been distilled and stripped of beneficial nutrients and enzymes, raw apple cider vinegar contains the “mother,” which is a stringy, web-like substrate that floats in the vinegar. This “mother” passes on gut-friendly bacteria and pro-digestive enzymes. ACV is quick to cure stomach ailments and alkalize the body to prevent disease.
Two: Turmeric, curcumin
Turmeric, containing the active ingredient curcumin, is an anti-inflammatory, blood-purifying powerhouse. Many studies now report curcumin’s skin-protecting, cancer-killing properties. Safe, effective and affordable, turmeric should be purchased from an organic source and utilized weekly as a great preventative medicine and cooking spice. As a naturaldetoxifier, turmeric cleanses the blood, purifying the liver and kidneys in the process. Used externally, it can remove boils. Used internally, it can aid in removing cysts.
Three: Bentonite clay
Bentonite clay comes from the Earth and can be mixed in water to form a paste. Used externally, it can be applied and wrapped on skin conditions like poison ivy to help draw the poison out. Under normal circumstances, bentonite clay can be used as a facial mask to cleanse the pores, as well as stopping stinky foot odor and diaper rashes, to name a few benefits. Internally, bentonite clay is a natural colon cleanser. With its strong negative ionic charge, it attracts heavy metals, toxins, harmful bacteria and pesticides, removing them safely from the body in bulk off of cached colon walls.
Four: Zeolite clinoptilolite
Many companies now sell zeolite clinoptilolite in easy-to-use bottles. The best forms of zeolite are in micronized form. The micronized dispersion method allows tiny lava mineral zeolites to travel with water into the hard to reach cells of the body. Zeolite attracts and traps heavy metals and radioactive particles that have been stored up in the cells of the body. With the toxins now trapped in zeolite’s dynamic structure, they are then flushed out of the body through body’s waste systems. Zeolite is great to have during a time of toxin exposure and is great for anyone wanting to detoxify regularly from constant environmental exposure to pollutants.
Five: Activated charcoal
Activated charcoal comes in a black powder and can be mixed in water to form a paste for external cleansing purposes. As a natural astringent, it can be diluted in water and consumed for internal detoxification. During a time of foodborne illness, chemical or drug poisoning, activated charcoal should be used first to help remove the poison and bacteria from the body. Activated charcoal should be in every emergency kit. It is quick and effective.
Sources for this article include:
Source: Natural News – About the author:
Inspired by powerful changes in he and his family’s own health, Lance Johnson is excited about the future of nutrition, cellular detoxification, and organic products.
As an avid, everyday learner and researcher, Lance believes real health opportunities exist outside of the mainstream medical industry.
Passionate, he has begun creating an all natural products movement from the ground up at: www.allnaturalfreespirit.com
Pick up a stick of all natural deodorant or a few bars of Liberty Soap from the Free Spirit online store.
And keep in touch for more empowering health information at www.allnaturalfreespirit.com