Curcumin May Slow Tumour Growth: Study


Intake of curcumin at ‘physiologically attainable’ doses could help to slow the development of prostate cancers by jamming receptors linked to cancer tumour growth, say researchers.

Yet another study has demonstrated the powerful anti-cancer benefits of curcumin, a substance that has been found to positively affect over 530 other diseases. Derived from the spice turmeric, which is also gaining widespread attention for its many benefits, curcumin is traditionally used by many cultures as a flavor-enhancer. A similar study actually found curcuminwas capable of reducing reducing tumor size by an astounding 81% naturally.

Published in Cancer Research, scientists found that curcumin helps to slow the growth of tumors in prostate cancer patients by ‘jamming’ receptors that enable the tumor to grow and spread. Conducted by Dr. Karen Knudsen and colleagues from Thomas Jefferson University, the study was published in the journal Cancer Research. Perhaps the most telling part of the study is that it used ”physiologically attainable” doses. This means that the doses were within reason, and even these doses that are within reason are highly effective against cancer.

Turmeric and curcumin alike are shaping up to be the next super anti-cancer substance, right up alongside vitamin D. In fact, the benefits go way beyond just prostate cancer and tumor reduction. Study leader Dr. Karen Knudsen explains how the real benefits of curcumin are just beginning to be fully understood:

“This study sets the stage for further development of curcumin as a novel agent to target androgen receptor signaling. It also has implications beyond prostate cancer since p300 and CBP are important in other malignancies, like breast cancer. In tumours where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent,” she said.

The benefits of curcumin and turmeric have not yet hit many mainstream individuals, or even many health conscious readers. As the spices continue to be heavily researched, more and more benefits will be acknowledged as they become increasingly recognized for their countless medicinal properties. Using curcumin and turmeric in your food, or picking up a quality liquid turmeric supplement can ultimately be an essential part in your natural health transformation.

The study – published in Cancer Research – reports that the turmeric spice isoflavone could help to slow the growth of tumours in prostate cancers by blocking the receptors for certain molecular pathways that have been shown to play a role in the development of prostate cancers in addition to reducing the effectiveness of some cancer therapies.

Led by Dr Karen Knudsen of Thomas Jefferson University, the research team found that “physiologically attainable” doses curcumin suppresses two genetic receptors – p300 and CPB (or CREB1-binding protein). They said the two receptors have been linked to the incidence of certain types of cancer, and also act as a predictor of tumour growth. The receptors are also known to work against cancer therapies such as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

By blocking the receptors, the team found that the spice extract was “a potent inhibitor of both cell cycle and survival in prostate cancer cells.”

“In tumours where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent,” she said, noting that an important function of the current study was to show that curcumin has such effects at “physiologically attainable” doses – as some previous studies reporting similar results proposed doses that were not realistic.

Curcumin promise

Curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow colour, has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential health benefits.

As a result, curcumin has been linked to a range of health benefits, including potential protection against prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, protection against heart failure, diabetes, and arthritis.

However curcumin was among a host of herbs claiming joint health benefits to be delivered negative article 13.1 opinions by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in February 2010.

Source: Cancer Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0943
“Targeting pioneering factor and hormone receptor cooperative pathways to suppress tumor progression”
Authors: S.A. Shah , S. Prasad , K.E. Knudsen

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