So there we go, I have my topic for today: Turmeric! It is the most powerful anti-inflammatory food ingredient there is! It has been written about in medical texts in China, India, Tibet and the Middle-East for over two thousand years. The important molecule in terms of inhibiting cancer is curcumin. Beyond the anti-inflammatory effect, it has several other capabilities that affect different mechanisms of cancer growth. If you want a better understanding of some of these mechanisms or cancer in general, I recommend the book 'Anticancer - a new way of life' by David Servan-Schreiber M.D., Ph.D.
In India people consume, on average, 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric a day. They are generally exposed to more environmental carcinogens than us , yet here are some surprising stats from the Anticancer book: "...Indians have one eighth as many lung cancers as Westerners of the same age, one ninth as many colon cancers, one fifth as many breast cancers, one tenth as many kidney cancers, and one fiftieth (yes 1/50!) our rate of prostate cancer". Kudos to our brothers and sisters in India!
There was a study done in 2005 on mice who no longer responded to Chemotherapy with Taxol (while Taxol is considered effective against metastatic breast cancer, it actually works in less than 1/2 of cases). In the study, curcumin reduced the spread of metastases impressively and any micro tumors that could still be found did not grow and were therefore no longer a threat.
Here's the deal though: you are actually better off eating delicious indian food than taking capsules of only curcumin. Researchers in Taiwan found out that it's not absorbed by your intestines very well unless it is mixed with pepper or ginger. In fact pepper increases the body's absorption of turmeric by 2000 percent!
Ok, I say it's time for a stroll down to the Farmer's Market. I am ready for some delicious Indian food for breakfast!
The beautiful ladies at Pam's Curry stand at the Kamloops Farmer's Market.
My friend Will and I enjoying delicious pakoras and chutney. Yum!