Tag Archives: Breast cancer

Women Vitamins: Turmeric: Golden Spice-Golden Promise


golden greetersSunny days of summer, and I have planted golden marigolds to greet any visitors at my door.  I love their warm color, their optimism, and their hardy nature.  They also remind me of India…and thoughts of India remind me of that wonderful, holy spice: turmeric.

Turmeric has been used as a holy spice in both India and China for thousands of years.  It is considered holy because of all the benefits that come from using turmeric: it heals wounds, cures infections, and has a whole host of other benefits.

Recently, research  has focused on turmeric’s main ingredient: curcumin.  It seems to have an  astonishing array of antioxidant, anti-cancer, antibiotic, and antiviral properties.

Turmeric has been shown to influence more than 700 genes and seems to actually
  • Strengthen and improve digestion
  • Support healthy liver function and detoxification
  • Purify the blood
  • Fight cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Contributes to well-being with anti-inflammatory properties
Evidence also suggests turmeric may play a beneficial role in fighting:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cataracts
  • Gallstones
  • Muscle regeneration
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

In 2009 researchers discovered that curcumin acts by inserting itself into cell membranes thus making them more orderly; a move that improves cells’ resistance to infection and malignancy.

Scientists speculated that curcumin did its health-promoting work by interacting directly with membrane proteins, but the 2009 findings suggest that curcumin  regulates the action of membrane proteins indirectly, by changing the physical properties of the membrane.

Curcumin “disciplines” cells and get them back into working order. When curcumin enters a cell, the study’s lead researcher Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy (University of Michigan)  said:
“The membrane goes from being crazy and floppy to being more disciplined and ordered, so that information that flows through it can be controlled.”
This not only improves your cells’ resistance to infections, but it also may help prevent cancer.”
Turmeric is commonly used in India, and the prevalence of 4 common U.S. cancers — colon, breast, prostate and lung — is 10x’s lower.  In fact prostate cancer, so devastatingly common in America, seldom afflicts Indian men.
Curcumin has been shown to:
  • Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
  • Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
  • Help the body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Enhance liver function
  • Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
  • Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth
Research from the University of Texas: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, have found that curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of arthritis, melanoma, and other cancers including breast and pancreatic cancers.
Turmeric can be used in your cooking routinely…it adds a warm, earthy tone to pork and chicken, does wonders in curry sauces, on cauliflower, and in egg salad.  If the flavor doesn’t appeal to you, there are always supplements in capsule form.  Be wary of buying curry powder, as the amount of turmeric in curry powder is minimal.
Be healthy, be safe, take your women vitamins and be blessed, Kersten
-as always, this article is for educational and informational purposes only…any regime should be carefully thought out and planned with your health care provider…
holy spice of India

Curcumin plant of golden promises

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Women Vitamins: Turmeric vs the Tumor


A while back, I wrote a blog about turmeric, an ancient spice with a lot of modern applications.  You’d be amazed by the vast and varied benefits that turmeric offers.

Turmeric

Image via Wikipedia

Turmeric gets its rich yellow color from the natural pigment, curcumin.  Curcumin has the potential of lowering cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and fighting certain cancers, particularly pancreatic and breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, almost 195,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year, and over 40,000 will die from the disease.

Pancreatic cancer is the 9th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Pancreatic cancer is initially difficult to detect and it is estimated that roughly 29,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year.

Both breast and pancreatic cancers present in forms of tumors.

Compounds found in spices may reduce the risk of breast cancer formation by stopping the growth of the stem cells that spawn the tumors.

Researchers from the University of Michigan released a study: “Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine” in which they report that curcumin, found in turmeric, and piperine, found in black peppers, decreased the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal differentiated cells.

“If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of cells with potential to form tumors,”  Madhuri Kakarala.

The results of the study suggest these dietary compounds could reduce the risk of cancer by targeting stem cells.  While the amount of curcumin and piperine ingested were at doses 20x’s more than would be consumed in a meal, supplements afford a reasonable vehicle for higher dosages.

”The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”  Kakarala

Another small study, published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s Clinical Cancer Research, was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Curcumin was given to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.  Although the amount of curcumin found in the blood serum was low, indicating low level bioavailability, several patients did see a decrease in pancreatic tumors.

A 2009 study in German involving the Wilms’ Tumor Gene1, (WT1), showed astounding results.  When curcumin was given with siRNA (silencing RNA that interferes with the gene expression) almost 90% of the WT1 was downgraded. They concluded:

“Targeting WT1 gene expression with siRNA may enhance the efficacy of curcumin to inhibit cell proliferation.”

Turmeric an essential ingredient in curry powder, can also be purchased as a “stand alone” spice.  The rhizome (root) of turmeric has been used for ages in the east (Asia/India) as traditional medicine to help with gastrointestinal upset, arthritic pain, and “low energy”.

I am going to add 2 recipes for turmeric….turmeric tea and golden milk….both are soothing beverages that can calm the mind and the stomach.  Both taste pleasant and you can add honey to sweeten the flavor, if you so choose.

Turmeric Tea

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • lemon (optional)
  • honey (optional)

Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and add ground turmeric. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a mug using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Add honey and/or lemon to taste.

Golden Milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil (organic)
  • honey (optional)

-Boil  Turmeric in about 1/4 cup water for 7-10 minutes – this forms a thick paste, add water as needed, keep stirring

-While this mixture is boiling, bring 1 cup milk & 2 tablespoons almond oil up to a gentle boil

-As soon as it starts to boil, TAKE IT OFF THE STOVE!  (don’t let it scorch)

-Combine the milk with the turmeric mixture

-Add honey (optional) to taste


Stay healthy, take your Women Vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

Turmeric powder 薑黃粉

Image via Wikipedia

This article is purely informational.  As with any new diet or change in health or lifestyle routine, please consult with your physician or health care provider first.
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