Sunday, June 5, 2016

How to Use Curcumin to Prevent Cancer and Diabetes Naturally

Curcumin is the yellow pigment associated with the curry spice, Turmeric, and to a lesser extent Ginger. It is a small molecule that is the prototypical ‘curcuminoid’, and has effects similar to other polyphenols but unique in a way as it is a different class of polyphenol (relative to the other classes of ‘flavonoid’, ‘stilbene’, etc.)

It exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects, and these anti-inflammatory effects seem to be quite protective against some form of cancer progression. However, curcumin has additional anti-cancer effects that are independent of its anti-inflammatory effects and thus is a heavily researched molecule for both cancer prevention and treatment.

Other areas of interest as it pertains to curcumin are alleviating cognitive decline associated with aging, being heart healthy by both electrical means and reducing lipid and plaque levels in arteries, and both reducing the risk of diabetes and being a good treatment for the side-effects associated with diabetes.

It has a poor oral bioavailability (a low percentage of what you consume is absorbed) and thus should be enhanced with other agents such as black pepper extract, called piperine. This is unless you want the curcumin in your colon (as it is a colon anti-inflammatory and can help with digestion), in which case you wouldn’t pair it with an enhancement.

Fight Cancer 

Curcumin battles cancers at the cellular level and comes up very effective in fighting all kinds of cancer and tumors. In some situations, it helps prevent the transformation of healthy cells to tumor cells; in other cases, it might inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. Research also proves that curcumin works well as an adjunct for many traditional cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy.


Studies have shown that curcumin is useful in preventing type 2 diabetes; it significantly lowers glucose levels and insulin resistance. Turmeric, the spice curcumin constitutes, helps maintain proper function of the pancreas, which helps the body properly regulate insulin formation. Turmeric might also help control cholesterol and unwanted fats in the body—both of which may lead to diabetes development if not properly managed.


Because curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce damage to bones and cartilage. It may also benefit type 2 collagen synthesis, thereby improving joint function. Curcumin even has the potential to cleanse the body of several enzymes that may create joint inflammation.


Some researchers claim that many cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease, can be prevented with regular curcumin use because curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier. Curcumin plays an important role in decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress, which many researchers believe contribute to Alzheimer’s. Studies have also demonstrated that curcumin decreases amyloid plaque build-up in the brain.

Where Can You Find Curcumin

Curcumin is in a powdered or capsule form—and you can find it as a tea or in ointments. If you depend on your diet as a source of curcumin, keep in mind that it takes approximately five curry meals to get the equivalent amount of curcumin contained in one standard capsule. When looking for the real supplement, have in mind that it needs to be a natural source (free of synthetic compounds), bioavailable (several companies have developed processes to enhance bioavailability), and that it’s GMO- and pesticide-free. In addition, look carefully at the other compounds contained in the supplement. Although there is a full spectrum of curcuminoids (and many have similar properties), be sure to consider the other additives. Many researchers consider curcumin to be very safe, even at high doses. The preferred dose is nearly 900 mg per day and should be consumed with food to help with absorption.
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