Spice Up Your Diet for Cancer Prevention
Curcumin--derived from the spice turmeric--may protect colorectal health by as much as 40%
Every day we learn more about the important role of diet in cancer prevention. A new study in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that the cancer-fighting properties of curcumin--derived from the spice turmeric--may protect colorectal health by as much as 40%.
Curcumin may contribute to cancer prevention
Research has shown that smoking and eating an unhealthy diet with an excess of saturated fat may increase a person's risk of colorectal cancer. The good news is that nutritional research suggests that the food and spices we eat may also help prevent cancer.
To investigate the effects of curcumin on the formation of precancerous rectal lesions, researchers assigned 41 people with precancerous lesions of the rectum (and who also currently smoked) to a group taking either 2 grams or 4 grams of curcumin a day for 30 days. Inflammatory blood markers and other measures were tested before and after the study.
Results showed as much as a 40% reduction in the formation of precancerous rectal lesions in people who took the 4 gram dose.
The authors of the study state that "curcumin was well tolerated at both 2 grams and 4 grams."
Choose healthy habits
Healthy habits, including eating a balanced diet are essential parts of a cancer-prevention program. Here are some tips to consider:
(Cancer Prev Res 2011;4:354-64)
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.