Curcumin: Powerful Super Spice That Fights Off Cancer
Many people are afraid of getting cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These diseases are thought of to be a consequence of lifestyle but can also be predisposed at birth. The popular belief was that if someone in your family had cancer, you might be at risk of getting it as well.
What would you do if there was a way of altering your genetic code so that you can lower, if not, eliminate your risk of getting cancer and other dangerous diseases? Recent studies have shown that curcumin other wise known as turmeric (often mispelled as tumeric) could really help. Read on to find out more…
A recent study on turmeric showed that the spice contains curcumin, a powerful compound with the ability to protect you from acquiring diseases such as cancer by changing your epigenetic expression.
First, let’s find out what epigenetic expression is and how altering it can prevent you from following the same fate as your other family members.
Epigenetics: Studying The Factors That Could Affect Your Genetics
Epigenetics is a field of science that seeks to uncover the factors that could affect or alter your genetics. According to experts in epigenetics, people who carry the genes that can develop into cancer and other diseases can have these structures shut off or triggered by certain factors.
For example, a person whose family has a history of cancer can trigger the genes that result in the disease if he/she follows an unhealthy lifestyle. Smoking, eating processed foods, stress, and lack of exercise are factors that are known to create ideal conditions for cancer to thrive in.
On the other hand, if the same person shifts to a healthier lifestyle and integrates more beneficial epigenetic factors into the day-to-day schedule, he/she could potentially reduce the possibility of cancer occurring.
Unfortunately, lifestyle is not the only factor to consider. There are other factors that are beyond your control. A good example is the environment you live in. Pollution has worsened to unprecedented levels. The air you breathe can introduce free radicals that can alter DNA structures.
The modern processes involved in farming and fishing which involves hazardous chemicals and pesticides can be transferred from animal and produce to you. Again, these are factors that are generally applied in food manufacturing and are not under your control.
We encounter both positive and negative epigenetic factors every day. In most cases, the negative factors are part of our daily routine. The more often we are exposed to these, the greater the probability of setting off the genes that lead to cancer. The best recourse is to identify the positive epigenetics and use them as preventive agents.
Lately, science has shifted its focus to superfoods such as turmeric as among the more powerful epigenetic factors that can prevent diseases like cancer from manifesting even if the person carries the gene.
Turmeric’s Secret Weapon Vs. Cancer
A study published in the 2015 edition of the Current Pharmacology Reports shared the findings on research conducted on curcumin which is found in turmeric and is responsible for its yellow color.
The research showed that curcumin has the ability to alter the genetic code and potentially prevent diseases like cancer from occurring. In addition, curcumin appeared to positively contribute to procedures used to treat cancer.
How does curcumin do this?
The scientists behind the research traced curcumin’s effectiveness on how the compound influences the rate of methylation.
Methylation is a process whereby three hydrogen atoms and a single carbon connect with a molecule and create a methyl group. The methyl group functions to control gene expression; it can activate or deactivate the genes the trigger the cancer cells to develop.
The rate of methylation contributes to the accelerated development of several types of cancer, diabetes, auto-immune and inflammatory disorders, and neurocognitive diseases.
The research concluded that curcumin can shut off the genes that lead to cancer and other destructive diseases. With curcumin, people who have been pre-determined by heredity to carry these cancer-causing genes now have a chance to fight off these diseases before they manifest.
Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal is a biochemist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has spearheaded numerous studies on the health benefits of turmeric. Dr. Aggarwal’s interest in the spice has its roots in his childhood days in India where it is used to treat a number of injuries and illnesses. In India it is a popular ingredient in cooking particularly in preparing curry dishes.
To date, there have been more than 1,500 research studies done on the root’s amazing ability to cure various health conditions. These studies all point to curcumin as the primary ingredient behind the power of it to address inflammation.
If left untreated, prolonged inflammation can lead to the following health conditions:
• Neurodegenerative Diseases
• Cardiovascular Diseases
• Digestive Disorder
However, the same studies found that turmeric only contains 2% to 5% curcumin. Also, its rate of bioavailability is quite low. This means your body cannot assimilate most of the curcumin that is found in it.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve curcumin’s rate of bioavailability:
• Use the spice in its fresh form; powder or fresh can increase its rate of bioavailability by 7 to 8 times.
• Include black pepper with your turmeric dish or concoction. Black powder can enhance the bioavailability of curcumin by as much as 2,000%.
• Take curcumin with a fatty source. This has been shown to bypass the liver which allows the curcumin to be absorbed directly by the lymphatic system.
How Much Should You Take Per Day?
In India, the average person consumes an estimated one teaspoon per day. Studies have alluded to the high consumption of turmeric as the reason why India has a lower rate of mortality for cancer compared to Europe and the United States.
However, it has a very strong flavour. It will be difficult to ingest one teaspoon of it every day. Another option is to take curcumin in supplement form. It should be noted that some of the studies on curcumin did not clearly state if the compound was isolated or if the entire turmeric root was used.
There are other compounds in turmeric that have medicinal and health benefits. Some studies have proven that these compounds contribute to positive epigenetic conditions.
If you are planning to take curcumin in supplement form, look for a brand that includes the other helpful compounds of turmeric. Taking the curcumin with the complete list of turmeric compounds intact may further increase its rate of bioavailability.
With the availability of science-backed research to support the healing powers of curcumin, the question begs to be asked:
“Why aren’t more people taking curcumin supplements?”
Pricing should not be a factor because turmeric is a very affordable root. It may seem that doctors are not enticed to embrace the medicinal benefits of curcumin. Dr. Aggarwal shared his opinion that the pharmaceutical companies could be behind the lack of support for curcumin.
Dr. Aggarwal believes doctors cannot accept the possibility that a simple root like turmeric can outperform more expensive drugs that cost up to $50,000 to administer.
While curcumin may be healthy for you, it will not be healthy for the profit margins of these pharmaceutical companies that stand to make money from cancer patients who opt for expensive chemotherapy sessions.
By simply adding a complete curcumin supplement into your diet and nutrition program, you can improve your overall health and lower your risk of acquiring dangerous illnesses.