Study finds spices can help fight cancer

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One spice currently being studied for its preventative qualities is a key ingredient found in Indian food. (WLS)

We've all heard about natural remedies, not approved by the FDA, which have been around for centuries. In many cases, there hasn't been enough scientific research done to prove the claims. That may be changing. One spice currently being studied for its preventative qualities is a key ingredient found in Indian food.

By day, Dr. Ajay Goel is a scientist, trying to unlock genetic codes to prevent cancer. By night, he's passionate about cooking Indian food, specifically curcumin, the anti-inflammatory medicine that is found in turmeric, the yellow spice used in most Indian food.

"Colon cancer incidents is ten to 15 times lower in India compared to U.S. Lung cancer about seven to eight fold lower in India compared to U.S. Breast cancer five to ten times lower, in India compared to US," said Dr. Goel.

Goel and his family enjoy traditional Indian cooking. Three meals a day, spiced with turmeric. There's now a volume of scientific evidence showing that curcumin is a safe, and powerful anti-inflammatory.

"What we were missing at that time, we didn't have the science behind it, we just knew that somebody took this and felt better," said Dr. Goel.

In a recent study, Goel examined a combination of extracts from turmeric and frankincense, and looked at the impact on colon cancer. In animal tests, the extracts impacted tumor growth by the second day.

JaNeene Jones took ibuprofen for a bad back. After seeing an integrative medicine physician, she started on curcumin capsules daily to reduce inflammation.

"So I tried it and it worked. There was nothing else I changed. No other variables whatsoever," Jones said.

"It's a passion for me and I feel privileged in a sense that I can see the science and I can see the anecdotal evidence, and I can see the limitations. I can see the positive things," said Dr. Goel.

Like possible cancer prevention someday on a plate.

A previous study by Professor Goel found that taking curcumin while undergoing chemotherapy increased the effectiveness of the treatment. If you are shopping for supplements and want the full benefit of curcumin, buy curcumin capsules, not turmeric. Remember turmeric is the spice, curcumin is the medicine.

If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.
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