Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Of The Most Researched Herbs - Curcumin

Curcumin is one of the most important well-researched cancer fighting herbs known.  It is a spice (think curry) and in its extract form a dye.  Plants with remarkable colors generally have potent medicinal properties.  Curcumin is an extract of Tumeric.  For health promotion and disease management it is best to have the highest potency curcumin extract.

A search of Medline reveals more than 1,500 studies describing the various activities of turmeric/curcumin.  What is it about curcumin that has so many scientists excited? The starting point is inflammation  but it is a whole lot more than that.  Inflammation is known to play a major role in the development of most diseases including: Cardiovascular diseases, Cancer, Pulmonary diseases, Neurological diseases (including Alzheimers), Autoimmune diseases, Arthritis and Diabetes.

Curcumin for a cancer patient is safe to take, acts as a chemotherapy and radio sensitizer while protecting normal cells.   It has multiple targets to down-regulate cancer growth pathways across multiple cancer types.  Cucumin has been found to suppress, retard, and even reverse cancer development at each stage of the disease. 

I recommend high potency extracts of curcumin in formulas as part of my base program for nearly all patients with cancer.   Curcumin needs to be taken with a little fat to help it absorb.  It can cause gas and intestinal upset at high doses. 

The following chart shows all the cancer targets that are up and down-regulated by curcumin.  If you think about drugs having usually 1 sometimes a few cancer targets, curcumin looks amazing for its 80 anti-cancer targets.   Curcumin (and herbs in general) are for me a part of the personalization of cancer treatment.   Finding in a particular tumor what is under or over-expressed and using herbs alone or in concert with drugs to treat cancer in a collaborative and intelligent manner.

I found the link to this chart in a 76 page paper called Curcumin: Indian Solid Gold

Bharrat Aggarawal is the prolific and innovative superstar in curcumin research.  Read an interview with him here.

For me Curcumin is part of what gives hope to treat and manage cancer.  Don't leave home without it.