For years there has been discussion about curcumin's anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer effects, but more research is needed (some trials are going on now). Curcumin is a chemical compound found in turmeric. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is used as a spice and is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, but also used in Middle Eastern and South Asian recipes.From Medical Xpress;
WA scientists have helped re-affirm that curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, is a safe and promising treatment for most cancers and other inflammation-driven diseases.The international review considered past clinical trials using curcumin to treat cancer patients and concluded curcumin was a safe and effective molecule to treat cancer.
A/Prof Sethi says curcumin is exceptionally effective for multiple myeloma patients and those suffering from the particularly lethal pancreatic cancer, for which there are no drugs. However, curcumin was not found to be as effective in breast cancer patients being treated with the chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide. According to the research, curcumin can counteract the effect of cyclophosphamide.
A/Prof Sethi says curcumin is possibly the only drug that can be given at high doses—up to 12g—without any toxicity.... A/Prof Sethi says the only known side effect of the agent is blood thinning, and therefore advises against taking curcumin if undergoing surgery.
He recommends people use turmeric more often in everyday cooking. A/Prof Sethi says it would be ideal to combine curcumin with other drugs or natural compounds, like piperine, an alkaloid found in pepper to increase its bioavailabilty..
A/Prof Sethi says there is a lack of data to explain the underlying mechanism of its effect, however, it is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. "It has been shown that most chronic diseases, including cancer, are caused by inflammation and can be treated by anti-inflammatory agents."He says more work needs to be done to improve curcumin's viability, as body tissues quickly absorb it.