June 28, 2013
Turmeric has enjoyed a great reputation within India for many generations now. Best known as one of the ingredients used in curry dishes, it’s also responsible for ballpark mustard’s yellow color. It’s been utilized for quite some time in Indian and Chinese societies for the anti-inflammatory results it provides when dealing with a wide array of medical conditions. Turmeric also shows great promise when faced with the task of fighting various forms of cancer or other illnesses such as cystic fibrosis.
Turmeric, also known as curcuma longa, naturally grows in the very warm regions of South Asia. It requires a lot of rain and constant temperatures ranging between 20°C and 30°C in order to bloom and prosper. Its main active component is called curcumin, which has a somewhat bitter, peppery taste combined with a mustard smell.
Turmeric fights cancer and inflammation
Curcumin’s antioxidant properties help contain the free radicals which can damage our cellular DNA if left free to roam. This antioxidant protection is even more evident inside the colon where we see a quick cell turnover, basically more or less every three days. Mutated cancer cells are annihilated which prevents them from spreading to other parts of the body. From a study conducted on mice at the University of Texas, results have led researchers to believe that curcumin enables the body to keep under control the transcription factors within genes which are needed for tumors to appear. The transcription factors may be seen as a main switch and when it’s turned off, certain genes involved in the growth and spread of cancer are simply unable to proceed.
Different studies have shown that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects are at least on par with certain prescription drugs or over-the-counter ones such as Motrin. The main difference to consider is that turmeric doesn’t leave toxic products in the body. There are also great reasons to be optimistic based on studies related to inflammatory bowel diseases. Mice that were given curcumin all seemingly had reduced signs of the following: Mucosal ulceration, thickening of the intestinal walls or the emergence of inflammatory cells. Researchers aren’t sure how this process occurs but they suspect curcumin hinders the activity of a cellular inflammatory component named NF kappa-B.
Cystic fibrosis is a life threatening disease in which the lungs are assailed with mucus and the pancreas is impaired, thus inhibiting the mechanism through which nutrients are properly digested and absorbed. Researchers have noticed that the mucus develops because of an abnormally shaped protein, itself being the end result of a defective gene. Some tests were made on mice which had the most familiar kind of protein defect, known as DeltaF508. When the mice were given reasonable doses of curcumin, results showed they were capable to correct the protein’s deficiencies, as it began looking and operating normally.
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