A new study published in Biomed Research International looks at the efficacy of the compound curcumin, which gives the spice turmeric its characteristic yellow color, as a potential anti-cancer agent.
The study catalogs how current cancer treatment is expensive and often ineffective or exhibits debilitating side-effects. The study looks at certain herbs and medicinal plants that have shown promise as anti-cancer agents and limiters of the growth of malignant cancer cells. The study notes that turmeric is especially mentioned and singled out as an anti-cancer agent. In several traditional medicinal systems such as Ayurveda from India and Unani from China, the many health benefits of turmeric are noted, with special emphasis on its anti-cancer properties.
The study notes that earlier research has already noted that curcumin could provide an alternate means to the prevention of cancer. The effect of curcumin as an antioxidant, antibacterial agent and anti-tumor agent are well documented and it also has a therapeutic or preventive effect on several other diseases. The study looks at the chemopreventive effects of curcumin in cancer-prevention with specific focus on curcumin’s effect on the regulation of cell signaling and genetic pathways.
Further, the study notes that turmeric and curcumin show no significant toxicity at all. They cite one study where animals, including rats and monkeys were fed curcumin doses, with 1.8 gms/kg given to monkeys and 0.8 mg/kg to rats for 90 days, with animals showing no adverse effects.
The review study is a collaborative effort between researchers in Qassim University, Buraida, Saudi Arabia and the Department of Pathology, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt. It was published in August.