The ability of turmeric to fight cancer has been extensively researched. In fact, over 1,500 published studies show that curcumin, turmeric’s active ingredient, is an effective treatment for over 100 different types of cancer.
The fact that mainstream medicine hasn’t embraced turmeric as a non-toxic cancer therapy is nothing short of outrageous. But a new study, in which curcumin outperformed conventional chemotherapy drugs, may finally bring turmeric the recognition it deserves.
Chemotherapy targets cancer cells as foreign invaders to be eliminated – an approach that ignores the root causes of the disease, and doesn’t help to create an “anticancer” environment in the body. Toxic chemotherapy drugs – which kill healthy cells and cause debilitating side effects – are not very effective against cancer stem cells, the “mother cells” that regulate the growth of tumors.
In fact, the result of these toxic drugs is to make the body even more susceptible to the cancer stem cells – spurring them to create even more treatment-resistant cells.
However, chemotherapy does succeed in killing significant amounts of cancer cells, and this is not to say it should never be used. But, the opinion of many integrative healthcare professionals is that it should be used as a last resort, not a first line of defense – especially when safer, non-toxic options are available.
In a 2015 study published in Cancer Letters, curcumin was tested in conjunction with the chemotherapy drugs 5-fluoroucil and oxaliplatin against colorectal cancer. Adding curcumin to the regimen improved the efficacy of the drugs – the curcumin inhibited cancer cell growth and even increased apoptosis, or cancer cell suicide.
Even more impressive, the curcumin appeared to help the chemo drugs specifically target cancer stem cells, reinforcing the drugs’ cancer-fighting abilities while lessening the side effects – including the neuropathies that can be caused by oxaliplatin. Side effects from curcumin – on the other hand – were minimal, involving mild gastrointestinal upset and dry mouth. Researchers concluded that curcumin is a “safe and tolerable adjunct” treatment.
But this wasn’t even the most significant result of the study.
In a small subset of patients, curcumin alone was found to be more effective in reducing overall cancer cells and cancer stem cells than the pair of chemo drugs alone. In other words, curcumin went head-to-head with chemo drugs and outperformed them – a truly astonishing result.
Researchers credited curcumin’s multiple methods of action with its success. Curcumin not only directly killed cancer cells, but also induced apoptosis, inhibited the growth of new cancer cells on a genetic level, and prevented blood supply from reaching new tumors.
All this, while promoting health with beneficial anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hormone-balancing properties.
As the researchers noted, clinical trials of curcumin in an oncology setting have targeted many types of cancer, including colorectal, pancreatic, breast and blood cancers.
In one study, colorectal cancer patients who were given 1,080 mgs of curcumin daily showed an increase in the amount of dying cancer cells, a reduction of inflammation, improved body weight, and higher gene expression indicating suppression of cancer.
In another study published in Nutrition Research, curcumin-supplemented lab animals showed a 40 percent decrease in the development of colon tumors. These results are supported by an animal model of colon cancer in which curcumin improved survival rate and colon health by completely eliminating cancerous tumors.
In yet another study, patients with pancreatic cancer who were given 8,000 mgs of curcumin a day showed increased survival time along with significant reductions in tumor size – in one case, up to 73 percent.
And, finally, in a study involving prostate cancer, curcumin was shown to cut in half the growth rate of prostate-specific androgen, a marker of tumor progression.
In spite of its proven results, turmeric is not approved by the FDA for cancer treatment – and does not enjoy mainstream acceptance in the conventional medical community. The reason, many say, is financial – with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in clinical trials, and massive profits to be made, big pharma doesn’t have much incentive to develop a treatment from a common kitchen spice.
In fact, the industry lobbies to make treatment of cancer by alternative means a criminal offense.
Having said that, we naturally suggest you talk to a trusted medical professional before using turmeric – for any reason – and, don’t stop taking prescribed medication unless advised by your physician.
It should be noted that in the past, turmeric’s therapeutic potential has been limited by its poor bioavailability – the fact that the body doesn’t absorb or use it effectively. But, the development of liposomalized turmeric extract has changed all that, increasing the bioavailability 10 to 20-fold and allowing the curcumin to begin its health-promoting and cancer-fighting work.
Hopefully, the research – presented in this article – will shine a light on the amazing healing potential of turmeric. We encourage every caring physician to do their own research – for the sake of their patients.
Editor’s note: I, personally, use a wonderful liposomal form of turmeric – which you can purchase here and, yes, your purchase does support our operations – at no extra cost to you.
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