Could turmeric prevent or help treat cancer, other diseases? - AmericaNowNews.com

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Could turmeric prevent or help treat cancer, other diseases?

  • HealthCould turmeric prevent or help treat cancer, other diseases?More>>

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Dozens of spices likely fill your kitchen cabinet, but turmeric is attracting lots of attention in the medical community.

In fact, some of the country's leading researchers believe this orange, powdery spice could be a medical marvel.

Aparappar Singh is the owner of Copper Restaurant. He says spices are the key ingredient in the Indian dishes prepared by chefs in his kitchen.

"In Indian or some of the Asian countries, people consume these spices on a daily basis on their meals, lunches, and dinners," Singh said.

One of the most common spices used by people in these countries is turmeric. It's made by grinding the roots of a shrub called curcumin.

Dr. Ajay Goel is the director of epigenetics and cancer prevention at Baylor University Medical Center.

"Typically, in the Indian diet, all three meals would have curcumin or turmeric—one way or the other," Goel told America Now's Jeff Rivenbark.

In the lab, Goel and his colleagues study how our genes behave.

They have conducted numerous studies evaluating the effects of curcumin on gastrointestinal toxicity, and how this bright-orange spice may be able to reduce cancer rates.

"If you look at the cancer incidence in India, and for that matter the whole Southeast Asia versus the U.S., the overall cancer incidence in the eastern part of the world is much, much lower," Goel noted.

The chemical compounds in turmeric are being studied for their potential effects on diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, arthritis, diabetes, and a number of clinical disorders.

While the U.S. is just beginning to notice the potential healing power of this spice, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as part of traditional medicine practices in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson even sells band-aids in India coated with turmeric because many who live there believe in its healing properties.

We want to stress – if you are currently receiving chemotherapy, or taking medications for any medical condition, before adding spices like turmeric or any other herbs to your diet, consult with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Most grocery store chains, like Whole Foods, have turmeric on the spice aisle, and in the vitamin section, you will find a number of supplements containing turmeric or curcumin.

"If a single spice can make such a big difference in preventing so many different diseases, just imagine if you are consuming diets rich in multiple spices, multiple herbs, multiple fruits and vegetables and all that which contain all those nutrients, you would be living a much healthier lifestyle putting off all the disease, you can prevent all of these diseases," Goel said.

So, if your diet is a little bland, why not spice it up with turmeric? The health benefits could last longer than the delicious taste of your meal.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

Additional Information:

"Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2011/2012 Update." National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. http://progressreport.cancer.gov/doc.asp?pid=1&did=2011&mid=vcol&chid=101).

"Tumeric." American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/turmeric.

Churnin, Nancy. "Curcumin as effective as Prozac in treating depression, without harmful side effects, Dallas researcher says." The Dallas Morning News. August 1, 2013. newshttp://healthblog.dallasnews.com/2013/08/curcumin-as-effective-as-prozac-in-treating-depression-without-harmful-die-effects-dallas-research-study-says.html/?nclick_check=1. 

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