Curcumin & Its Role in Cancer Prevention, Depression & Pain

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been shown to prevent cancer, treat depression, and ease pain.
Air Date: 9/3/14
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Ajay Goel, PhD
Ajay Goel, PhD, is director of epigenetics and cancer prevention at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Lab at Baylor Univeristy Medical Center in Dallas. He has spent 20 years researching cancer and has been the lead author or contributor to more than 100 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed international journals and several book chapters. He is currently researching the prevention of gastrointestinal cancers using integrative and alternative approaches, including botanical products. Two of the primary botanicals he is investigating are curcumin (from turmeric) and boswellia. Goel is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Gastroenterology Association and is on the international editorial boards of World Journal of Gastroenterology and World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology. He also performs peer-reviewing activities for almost 50 scientific journals and serves on various grant funding committees of the National Institutes of Health.
    Curcumin & Its Role in Cancer Prevention, Depression & Pain
    There has been quite a bit of evidence lately as to the health and wellness benefits of the spice turmeric.

    But what is it within the spice that makes it so effective?

    The answer is curcumin.

    It's important to make the distinction between the two, as many individuals think they are one in the same.

    Curcumin is the active principle/medicine in the turmeric. But the concentration is so small that you would have to consume 200-500 capsules of turmeric to get the same amount of curcumin in one capsule.

    What are some of the specific diseases that curcumin has been shown to help prevent or address?

    Curcumin is a very potent antioxidant, which helps in cancer prevention. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory, which is important because inflammation is one of the main causes of many chronic diseases, including cancer.

    Based on some studies, curcumin may also activate genes that can shrink or slow down the progression of tumor cells.

    BCM-95 curcumin is particularly effective because its high rate of absorption (up to 70 percent better than typical curcumin). This version of curcumin stays in the body longer; which means you derive much better, longer-lasting benefits.

    When it comes to treating cancer, some studies have shown that curcumin works synergistically with chemotherapy. However, you need to be mindful of the stage of the cancer and the other medications that are being taken. There is no indication of negative interactions, but it's still a good idea to consult with your physician.

    In an eight-week study, researchers compared curcumin to a generic form of Prozac. Just after four weeks, those who were put on the curcumin regimen felt markedly better; similar to those taking the prescription medication.

    Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Multiple studies have shown that curcumin is far superior in addressing arthritis pain over the NSAIDs that are typically prescribed for these conditions.

    Perhaps the best part about curcumin? It's a completely natural medicine, is extremely safe and is also quite inexpensive.

    What dosage should you be taking?

    If you're using BCM-95, you should be getting 3-4 pills of 500-750 mg/day. It is recommended that you take curcumin supplements with food.

    Join Dr. Ajay Goel as he shares his research with Andrea and Lisa and explains how curcumin can be truly effective in preventing and addressing certain conditions.