Over the past few years, I've been following a rapidly growing mountain of exciting research, studies and clinical trials related to Curcumin, the principle compound found within Turmeric. Based on the information coming out, it seems this ingredient is even more powerful than I originally thought. Even drug companies are scrambling identify the spice’s precise biological mechanisms that could be synthesized, patented and of course sold as prescribed treatments for a wide variety of medical conditions.
What follows is just a scratch on the surface of all the recent news coming out on Turmeric/Curcumin as it relates to some of the most chronic medical diseases and conditions in the world today.
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Turmeric/Curcumin on Multiple Forms of Cancer
Occurrence for the top four cancers (colon, breast, prostate and lung) is 10 times lower in South Asia. Might it be that Turmeric is used regularly in culinary dishes of this region?
MDAnderson.org:Turmeric Adds Spic to Your Health..."No cancer has been found, to my knowledge, which is not affected by curcumin," Aggarwal says. "The reason curcumin is so effective against cancer is that it hits not just a single target or cell signaling pathway but dozens of targets implicated in cancer."
Osteoarthritis. Some research shows that taking turmeric extracts, alone or in combination with other herbal ingredients, can reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis. In one study, turmeric worked about as well as ibuprofen for reducing osteoarthritis pain.
Eye inflammation (anterior uveitis). Early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, might improve symptoms of long-term inflammation in the middle layer of the eye.
Colorectal cancer. Early research suggests that taking turmeric might stabilize some measures for colon cancer. There is also early evidence that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, daily for 30 days can reduce the number of precancerous glands in the colon of people at high risk of cancer.
Bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft surgery). Early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, 3 days before surgery and continuing for 5 days after surgery can lower the risk of a heart attack following bypass surgery.
Crohn’s disease. Some evidence suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, daily for one month can reduce bowel movements, diarrhea, and stomach pain in people with Crohn’s disease.
Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking turmeric daily for 9 months can reduce the number of people with prediabetes who develop diabetes.
Stomach upset (dyspepsia). Some research shows that taking turmeric by mouth might help improve an upset stomach.
Gum disease (gingivitis). Early research suggests that using a turmeric mouthwash is as effective as a drug-therapy mouthwash for reducing gum disease and bacteria levels in the mouth, but not for reducing plaque.
Stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection. Early research suggests that taking turmeric daily for 4 weeks is less effective than conventional treatment for eliminating certain bacteria (H. pylori) that can cause stomach ulcers.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Early research suggests that taking a turmeric extract daily for 8 weeks reduces the occurrence of IBS in people with IBS who are otherwise healthy.
Skin rash (Lichen planus). Taking a certain product containing chemicals found in turmeric daily for 12 days can reduce skin irritation caused by lichen planus.
Kidney inflammation (Lupus nephritis). Early research suggests that taking turmeric daily for 3 months can reduce blood pressure and improve kidney function in people with kidney inflammation.
Stomach ulcers (peptic ulcer disease). Early research suggests that taking turmeric daily for 4 weeks does help heal stomach ulcers.
Itchy skin (pruritus). Early research suggests that taking a specific product (C3 Complex) that contains curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, and an extract of black or long pepper (Bioperine) can reduce skin itching and improve quality of life in people with chronic itching.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggests that curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might help reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Skin wounds due to cancer. Early research suggests that applying a turmeric ointment might help to relieve odor and itching caused by wounds associated with different types of cancer.
Recover from surgery. Early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, daily for up to one week after surgery can reduce pain, fatigue, and the need for pain medications.
Tuberculosis. Early research suggests that taking a product containing turmeric and Tinospora cordifolia can reduce bacteria levels, improve wound healing, and reduce liver toxicity in people with tuberculosis who are also receiving antituberculosis therapy.
Ulcerative colitis. Early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, daily for up to 6 months can reduce symptoms and the recurrence of ulcerative colitis when used in combination with conventional treatments.
While this is all very positive new it does not mean Turmeric cures Cancer or any other disease. What I do know is it has a very long list of potential benefits and virtually no side effects. Supplementing your diet with Turmeric is something I recommend to everyone, especially those dealing with the wide ranging effects of inflammation.