Cucurmin Research and its Role in Cancer Treatment
Cucurmin is an active constituent of the spice turmeric, which comes from a plant called Cucurma longa. The plant is a member of the ginger family and produces rhizomes, which are thick underground stems that grow horizontally and send out both shoots and roots. Cucurmin is one of several compounds found in the rhizomes, called curcuminoids, that are found in turmeric and is considered the most biologically active. Curcumin has a long history in Asian medicine for the treatment of various diseases.
Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and there is some research that
indicates it might be helpful in some kinds of cancer. Inflammation may play a role in cancer, and
cucurmin may help counteract that effect. Some enzymes in the human body can help you eliminate potential cancer-causing substances, or carcinogens, while others are actually changed into carcinogens. Cucurmin may increase the activity of some enzymes that eliminate carcinogens.
Research on mice with breast cancer indicates cucurmin can decrease the spread of cancer to the lungs and may make the chemotherapy drug Taxol more effective. The breast cancer research was led by a team headed by B.B. Aggarwal, a professor of cancer research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Another research group, led by Fei Ye of the MD Anderson Cancer Center has also shown that curcumin is effective in suppressing esophageal cancer cells.
Another research study on prostate cancer found curcumin may be able to prevent prostate cancer. A team of researchers in Luxembourg, led by Marie-Hélène Teiten, found that curcumin interferes with cancer cell development and prevents the cells from reproducing. Cucurmin also decreased the spread of prostate cancer. The researchers felt curcumin’s anti-inflammatory action was responsible for the beneficial effect and that curcumin showed promise as an alternative for prostate cancer treatment and prevention.
The research on curcumin, although promising, is still in its early stages. Curcumin should not be
considered a cancer treatment or preventative at this point. The research on curcumin has been done with animals or in the lab, and there are no studies on cucurmin’s effect in human cancers. More studies are being conducted to hope to find a better cure for low life-expectancy cancers. Hopefully there will emerge another favorable treatment against cancer.
Allison Brooks is fresh on the scene as a biomedical anthropologist. She recently graduated with a degree from the University of Mississippi and now travels a great deal to Bolivia to study the effects of biomedicalization on their culture. Through her studies, she has been getting into natural health and the use of herbs in healing, and in her off –time she likes to guest blog for people to spread the word.
Curcumin Research and it's Role in Cancer Therapy by Guest Blogger: Allison Brooks
by Allison Brooks on February 17th, 2012
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