Curcumin, an Extract of Turmeric Shows Promise in Brain Tumor Treatment
A growing number of studies have proven that turmeric can have a dramatic impact on brain cancer symptoms.
Brain cancer studies with animals and with various types of brain cancer cell cultures have indicated a potential role for curcumin in combating this type of cancer.
Turmeric contains a major polyphenolic compound, named curcumin or diferuloylmethane, which can eliminate cancer cells derived from a variety of peripheral tissues.
Curcumin is a major component of the spice turmeric derived from the plant Curcuma longa and has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Southeast Asia as a cooking spice and a medicine. Recently, curcumin has gained wider attention as a potent anti-cancer agent.
Researchers say curcumin could be the answer to stopping a fatal brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBMs).
Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease the inflammation that appears to play a role in brain cancer.
In clinical trials in adults, curcumin, an extract of turmeric has demonstrated effectiveness and safety, with no discernable side effects in various cancers. In addition, no adverse reactions in children with brain cancer have been reported so far.
A 2010 study in malignant brain tumors showed curcumin effectively inhibits brain tumor cell proliferation, as well as migration and invasion, and these effects may be mediated through interference with the STAT3 signaling pathway.
Curcumin has a similar action against many brain tumor types, including meduloblastoma cells and pituitary cancers Curcumin inhibits pituitary cancer from forming. It also slows growth of pituitary tumors and inhibits production of excess pituitary hormones by tumors.
An article in Brain Research confirms that curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier; thus reaching the brain and any tumor cells there.
The journal BMC Cancer reported promising findings from the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research in Wilmington, DE, about the potential for curcumin, an extract of turmeric to be effective in treating a specific type of brain cancer. The fatal brain cancer is known as glioblastoma (GBMs).
In the exciting discovery announced in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in July, researchers say curcumin could be the answer to stopping a fatal brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBMs). This study strengthens previous findings. In this study,
In this study, the researchers divided 22 rats into two groups. They gave one group turmeric and the other remained untreated.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that 9 out of 11 of the turmeric-treated group had their tumors shrink. At the same time, the control group had zero tumors shrink suggesting curcumin selectively targets brain cancer cells. . Imagine that — 81% of the turmeric-treated tumors shrinking compared to 0% in the control group. That’s about as convincing as you’re going to get! What’s more, the turmeric caused zero toxicity in normal cells. The researchers said this suggests “that curcumin selectivity targeted transformed brain cancer cells.”
The researchers also found that it worked synergistically with two different chemotherapy drugs, enhancing the elimination of cancer cells.
The authors state:
“In summary, data presented here suggest curcumin as a potential agent for therapy of GBMs.”
How can turmeric be effective for brain cancer?
Turmeric’s potential anticancer effects stem from its ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without cytotoxic effects on healthy cells. Curcumin can interfere with the activity of the transcription factor NF-?B, which has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases such as brain cancer.
Curcumin suppresses growth of glioblastoma by triggering the apoptotic pathways that destroy glioblastoma cells. Curcumin turns off the signals in the cells that protect glioblastoma cells from apoptosis, allowing the suicide process to destroy the cancer cells (Karmakar S et al 2007, Luthra PM et al 2009).
Because it is an antioxidant, curcumin may be able to decrease inflammation throughout the body. Scientists believe that inflammation is a part of the sequence of biological events that leads to brain cancer. Therefore, it’s possible that curcumin could be useful as a brain cancer therapeutic or preventive.
How to take curcumin for treating brain cancer
Curcumin as part of turmeric powder is very beneficial as a daily regimen if taken properly. The problem with curcumin is that the stomach won’t let it pass through to the small intestines enough to appear significantly in blood serum, where it has to be for cellular nourishment.
That’s easily resolved with turmeric by combining it with fats. Studies have shown that a fat-soluble formulation of curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier, effectively blocks brain tumor formation and eliminates brain tumor cells but does not suppress normal brain cell viability.
Cold pressed oils, coconut oil, organic butter, ghee, raw milk, and organic cottage cheese are optimum choices. It has also been discovered that heat helps absorption without decomposing the curcumin in turmeric. Some users mix turmeric in warm milk. After all, curry involves cooking with some sort of fat.
A highly recommended and effective way to to counteract the low bioavailability of curcumin is by taking a curcmin supplement that contains Piperine.
Piperine, extracted from pepper, is a bioavailability (absorption) enhancer, that allows substances to remain in cells for longer periods of time.
Piperine is found in plants of the Piperaceae family including Piper nigrum (black pepper) and Piper longum (long pepper). In the U.S. piperine is sold under the trademark Bioperine.
In 1998 researchers at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India combined piperine with curcumin to test the bioavailability (absorption) of curcumin in rats and healthy human volunteers. In rats, the bioavailability was increased by 154%. In humans, co-supplementation with 20 mg of piperine (extracted from black pepper) significantly increased the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.
A highly recommended curcumin extract that contains Piperine is Super Curcumin with Bioperine by Life Extension.
The turmeric extract in Super Curcumin with Bioperine has been standardized to 95% curcuminoids and enhanced with the thermo-nutrient Bioperine® in order to ensure optimal quality, potency, and bioavailability. This supreme product is available at Amazon.com.