Updated: May 17
Turmeric ranks as the superstar of spices. It has an emerging scientific reputation as one of nature's most powerful healers.
Turmeric largely owes its preventative and curative skills to one of its active ingredients: curcumin.
My studies have shown how curcumin could improve key disease markers in some patients with MGUS and SMM.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin - which is derived from turmeric - is a compound so diverse and powerfully rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that it has been shown to protect and improve the health of virtually every organ in the body. To date, thousands of animal and human studies from around the world have found that curcumin can be beneficial for a multitude of maladies including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. And the list keeps growing.
Turmeric is a great spice to add as a healthful flavouring to your food, and it has been shown to have preventative and curative properties. However, to assist with the treatment of diseases such as MGUS and SMM, you need to use curcumin as a supplement. This is because there is a very small percentage of curcumin in the spice, turmeric, and you would have to eat a very large quantity of turmeric to achieve the same benefits as the extract.
How Does it Fight Cancer?
Curcumin has been extensively studied over the past four decades for the treatment or prevention of various forms of cancer. Curcumin targets different pathways which are involved in the development of cancer, including the nuclear factor kappa B (NFKB) pathway. This pathway is deregulated in many cancers that form in the blood and bone marrow. A number of clinical studies carried out in our clinics show that curcumin has beneficial effects in some "watch and wait" blood cancer patients - see supplements!!
Turmeric and its extract, curcumin, are not well absorbed by the body.
There are a number of ways to increase absorption:
Add a sprinkle (don't overdo it!) of black pepper to your turmeric powder or curcumin supplement
Eat your turmeric powder or curcumin supplement with a healthy fat ie olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, fish oil
Heating turmeric also enhances its absorption so cook in olive oil!
If you have gallstones or gall bladder disease, you will have to be very careful with how much curcumin you take!! Please discuss with your doctor.