September 30, 2022

Can You Heal Cancer With Curcumin?

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Avanthika Nityanand

M.Sc Human Genetics, B.Sc Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology

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Can You Heal Cancer With Curcumin?
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Chemotherapy and the drugs utilized in combating cancer come with several adverse effects. Research is in full swing to suppress such ill symptoms and find suitable complementary techniques or ingredients to reduce them.

Curcumin has immense potential to be a prominent factor in reducing the side effects.

Curcumin is the active component of turmeric. Though a common ingredient in cooking, turmeric holds a special place in Indian traditional medicine. Its potential in cancer and other disorders is a subject matter for research and has given positive results.

What Research Shows

Inflammation may be the root or underlying cause of the harmful effects of cancer. Fortunately, curcumin fights inflammation off, potentially halting tumor cells from spreading. But further research is required to conclude whether curcumin can treat cancer.

One major downside of chemotherapy is that it kills all cells, whether they are healthy or cancerous. Whereas curcumin only exhibits its effect on cancerous cells, leaving the healthy ones unharmed. A study showed that curcumin showcases its anti-cancer effects in multiple ways. Due to the various ways it works, the ability of cancerous cells to develop a resistance to it is minimal.

Evidence showed positive results in individuals with pancreatic cancer when high doses of curcumin were employed. For this purpose, Theracurmin, a highly absorbable form with a large quantity of curcumin, was created to supply cancer patients with large harmless doses. Despite such progression, there is a need to test it on pancreatic and other types of cancer.

At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, rats were exposed to cancerous substances first and then provided with turmeric. None of the rats developed colon, skin, or stomach cancer.

Precautions And Risks

1. Drug Interactions

Turmeric tends to interfere with the action of chemotherapy drugs. Particularly with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. A patient undergoing chemotherapy requires extra precaution before supplementing with turmeric.

Turmeric has the side effect of increased stomach acid when consumed. Pairing it with drugs for reducing acid, such as medications for acid reflux, is to be avoided.

It may also cause a dip in blood glucose levels, which may be a point of concern for people with diabetes. It also amplifies the effect of glucose-decreasing drugs that diabetic patients use. Pairing with such drugs can lead to critically low blood sugar levels.

Turmeric also exhibits an enhancing effect on blood thinners. It increases the risk of bleeding as a result.

2. Digestive System

Most people can freely utilize this spice for culinary purposes without adverse effects. Consumption of large amounts can cause nausea, indigestion, or flatulence.

Due to its effect of increasing the acid in the stomach, one may suffer from ulcers if turmeric is used for a long time.

3. Enhancing Diseases

Turmeric may increase the possibility of developing kidney stones, especially if you’re already at risk of suffering from them. Take precautions before considering turmeric in gallbladder-related disorders.

It may also exhibit or alter the functioning of medications and diseases not mentioned here. Check with a qualified physician before adding it to your treatment protocol.

Usage Of Turmeric

We can use turmeric in a variety of forms:

  • Brewed as tea
  • Grounded or powdered
  • Capsular form
  • Extracts
  • Chopped roots

Alternatively, you may instead use curcumin supplements as well. They are well-tolerated by the human body.

A recommended dosage does not exist at the moment. You can, however, consult a natural health practitioner or physician for guidance. Supplements included with piperine or black pepper are a better choice as the absorption rate is higher in them.

Consult with an expert before providing your children with turmeric supplements.

Conclusion

A potential assistant in treating cancer, curcumin may help battle cancer. Research is still ongoing to determine the best way to utilize this spice.

It has loads of benefits apart from its anti-cancer properties, so use this spice in your smoothies, lattes, teas, and curries. Only start supplementation under the supervision of a doctor if you are dealing with cancer.

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