Curcumin has long been used to treat several ailments in Asian medicine. Curcumin is a polyphenol extracted from Turmeric spice, has attracted the interest of researchers throughout the world due to its biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral, among which its anticancer potential, is the most described and still under several studies all around the world.
Curcumin has antioxidant properties, which means it may reduce swelling and inflammation. It is being researched as a cancer treatment in part because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer. Curcumin targets cell signalling pathways that are important in cancer growth and proliferation. Growth factors, enzymes, transcription factors, kinases, inflammatory cytokines, and proapoptotic and antiapoptotic (by downregulation) proteins have mostly been found to be modulated by curcumin. This polyphenol compound alone or combined with other drugs could represent an effective medication for cancer therapy. Curcumin can reduce the number of side effects associated with excruciatingly painful cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It can also aid in the protection and promotion of human liver functioning.
Studies and Research on curcumin
According to laboratory and animal research, curcumin may prevent cancer, reduce cancer spread, improve chemotherapy effectiveness, and protect healthy cells from radiation therapy harm. Curcumin research in humans is still in its early phases. Curcumin is being studied in clinical trials as a strategy to prevent cancer in people with precancerous conditions, as a cancer treatment, and also as a remedy for the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
To understand the effectiveness of curcumin among cancer patients, a study was conducted with 160 cancer patients who have been encountering cancer treatments like radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. The study was to examine if or whether a reliable dose of curcumin can lower symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, insomnia, and much more. After the trial, it was recorded that most of these symptoms were comparatively relieved by consuming curcumin supplements.
A 2009 study discovered that curcumin can kill many different types of cancer cells in a variety of ways. Cancer cells are less likely to become curcumin-resistant because multiple techniques are effective. Curcumin only affects cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone. Because chemotherapy drugs kill both healthy and cancer cells, this is an essential step in potential treatment.
Curcumin and drug interactions
Turmeric can increase the amount of stomach acid in your body. As a result, it may reduce the efficacy of acid-reducing medications. This includes acid reflux medication.
If you have diabetes and are taking diabetes medication, turmeric can enhance the effects of your medication. Taking turmeric may cause your blood sugar to drop dangerously low.
There is some evidence that turmeric may interfere with chemotherapy drugs. This is especially true for doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. Consult your doctor before using turmeric or curcumin if you are undergoing chemotherapy.
This spice can also enhance the effects of blood thinners. This can increase your chances of bleeding.
Curcumin is still being studied, and there isn’t enough data to recommend it at this time possibly. Before taking any herbal supplement, including curcumin, consult your doctor. Certain medications, especially several chemotherapy drugs, have been
reported to interfere with it.
Curcumin’s effects on the different types of Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon. A safe and effective dose of curcumin supplement helps to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in several patients with colorectal cancer. It has antitumor qualities as well as anticancer features such as anti-angiogenic. Furthermore, curcumin can reduce multidrug dose-limiting toxicity and resistance and can also increase cell self-clearing, reduce metastasis, and angiogenesis, balance and alleviate tumours for treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Breast Cancer
Curcumin has several effects in treating breast cancer, including suppressing tumour growth, inducing cell apoptosis when used as an adjunct therapy, improving oxaliplatin toxicity in primary malignant cells, detecting regressed tumour growth, and releasing tumour-induced pain, and healing inflammation caused by treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
- Prostate Cancer
Curcumin has been shown in studies to reduce cell proliferation, increase cell apoptosis, suppress stem cell proliferation, reduce angiogenesis, and mitigate the process of bone metastatic in both androgen-independent and androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells.
- Ovarian Cancer
According to studies, curcumin has limited anti-cancer effects on ovarian cancer. As per clinical trials, curcumin has been shown to increase sensitivity to cisplatin when combined with quercetin, induce cell apoptosis, and have other synergistic anticancer effects when combined with dihydroartemisinin. (Source of study)
- Pancreatic cancer
Curcumin can help fight pancreatic cancer cells, according to a 2008 study, but higher levels are required. To address this issue, Theracurmin, a highly bioavailable form of curcumin, was developed. The widely available supplement is intended to provide higher levels of curcumin to cancer patients without causing additional harm. More research on people with pancreatic and other cancers is needed to determine Theracurmin’s efficacy.
In addition to this, curcumin when combined with 5-fluorouracil, hindered cancer growth in gastric carcinoma and also worked on the stomach, cervical, colorectal, head, uterine, neck, lung, oral, oesophagus and bone cancers.
Curcumin has shown promise as an alternative cancer treatment. Curcumin studies are underway to determine how it fights cancer and the ideal method to use it as a treatment.
Until a conclusion is reached, you can gulp down turmeric tea, add it to your green smoothie, or take a curcumin supplement. Always keep in mind that b Before attempting to treat cancer or any other medical condition, you should consult your doctor first.