Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, is a HUGE player in alternative cancer as well as a reducer of inflammation. While plant-based formulations have been used to treat cancer for centuries, current treatments usually involve poisonous mustard gas (chemotherapy) and radiation that kill surrounding tissue and lead to chemo-resistant cancers.

While traditional plant-derived medicines are safe, what are the active principles in them and how do they mediate their effects against cancer is perhaps best illustrated by curcumin, a derivative of turmeric used for centuries to treat a wide variety of inflammatory conditions.


Curcumin is a diferuloylmethane derived from the Indian spice, turmeric (popularly called “curry powder”) that has been shown to interfere with multiple cell signaling pathways, including cell cycle (cyclin D1 and cyclin E), apoptosis (activation of caspases and down-regulation of antiapoptotic gene products), proliferation (HER-2, EGFR, and AP-1), survival (PI3K/AKT pathway), invasion (MMP-9 and adhesion molecules), angiogenesis (VEGF), metastasis (CXCR-4) and inflammation (NF-κB, TNF, IL-6, IL-1, COX-2, and 5-LOX). The activity of curcumin reported against leukemia and lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, lung cancer, melanoma, neurological cancers, and sarcoma reflects its ability to affect multiple targets. Thus an “old-age” disease such as cancer requires an “age-old” treatment.


Curcumin halts Cancer

I have long since highlighted the therapeutic potential of curcumin (turmeric), used as a dietary ingredient and as a natural anti-inflammatory. It was shown to decrease the proliferative potential and induce the apoptosis potential of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells in vitro, largely by modulating the apoptosis suppressor proteins and by interfering with the growth factor receptor signaling pathways as exemplified by the EGF-receptor

A recent study stated, “Curcumin causes a marked decrease in the extent of cell proliferation.” Another study states that Curcumin, “interferes with prostate cancer proliferation and metastasis development through the down-regulation of androgen receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor, but also through the induction of cell cycle arrest. It regulates the inflammatory response through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators and the NF-κB signaling pathway. These results are consistent with this compound’s ability to up-induce pro-apoptotic proteins and to down-regulate the anti-apoptotic counterparts.”

How much is Enough?

We typically recommend taking at least 1500 mg either taken WITH coconut oil OR pre-emulsified in a fat.

how-effective-is-curcuminHow effective is Curcumin