Angela from Perth, Western Australia, Australia asked:

Does turmeric prevent cancer growth?

Curcumin

I have read that turmeric, which contains curcumin, has strong cancer-fighting properties and can stop cancer cells from growing. Is this true?

The source:
Our answer

Turmeric is a bright yellow spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It comes from a root or rhizome and its main ingredient is curcumin. Laboratory studies on cancer cells have found curcumin slows down their growth and some animal studies have also shown it to slow the growth and spread of cancers. Clinical trials are underway to find out if it can help humans as well, but as yet we do not have enough evidence of the effect in humans. One problem is that not much curcumin is absorbed into our body when we eat turmeric. As well, we know that it is safe to use in cooking in small amounts, but we don’t know much about the side-effects of consuming it in large amounts to treat or prevent cancer. More research is needed to establish the safety of turmeric when used in herbal remedies. As always, you should talk to your doctor about any herbs or supplements you are considering taking.

This page was last updated on: March 6, 2015
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