Our findings suggest that curcumin may be useful for colon cancer treatment, as
well as potential colon cancer suppression, in cells that respond to this gastrointestinal
hormone, neurotensin,” said senior author and director of UTMB’s Sealy Center
for Cancer Cell Biology, Mark Evers.
“About a third of all colorectal cancer cells have the receptor for neurotensin.” 20/09/2006- Curcumin has been found to block activity of a hormone implicated in the development of colorectal cancer – results which contribute to a growing body of evidence pointing to the spice’s cancer-fighting potential.Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) worked with curcumin, the yellow pigment found in the curry spice turmeric, and cell cultures to link a gastrointestinal hormone to the production of an inflammatory protein that accelerates the growth of a variety of cancer cells.
The study, entitled “Curcumin inhibits neurotensin-mediated interleukin-8 production and migration of HCT116 human colon cancer cells”, is published in this month’s issue of Clinical Cancer Research. The anti-cancer effects of spices from curcumin to red chili pepper capsaicin have been consistently researched, but this new study hopes to open the possibility of gastrointentestinal cancer prevention and therapy involving the blocking of hormones.
Colorectal cancer accounts for nine per cent of new cancer cases every year worldwide. The highest incidence rates are in the developed world; Asia and Africa have the lowest rates, which calls into question diet-related factors. “Our findings suggest that curcumin may be useful for colon cancer treatment, as well as potential colon cancer suppression, in cells that respond to this gastrointestinal hormone, neurotensin,” said senior author and director of UTMB’s Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, Mark Evers. “About a third of all colorectal cancer cells have the receptor for neurotensin.” The UTMB researchers found the gastrointestinal hormone neurotensin, which is generated in response to fat consumption, reduced production of IL-8, a potent inflammatory protein that accelerates the growth and spread of a variety of human cancer cells, including colorectal and pancreatic tumor cells.
“We found that in colon cancer cells, neurotensin increases not just the rate of growth but also other critical things, including cell migration and metastasis,” said Evers. “The fact that all that can be turned off by this natural product, curcumin, was really remarkable.
According to the scientists involved, neurotensin’s influence depends on biochemical signaling pathways inside the cell. They claim their experiments showed curcumin diminished those signals and thereby decreased the production of IL-8. Experiments also showed neurotensin increased the migration of colorectal cancer cells, and that curcumin could suppress this migration — possibly reducing the ability of colorectal cancer to spread to other locations in the body. Reference: Xiaofu Wang et al. “Curcumin inhibits neurotensin-mediated interleukin-8 production and migration of HCT116 human colon cancer cells.” Clinical Cancer Research. Sep 15, 2006; 12 (18).
Curcumin could Cut Plaque Build-up linked to Alzheimer’s
04/10/2006- Curcumin, found extensively in curries, could boost
the body’s ability to clear the build up of plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, suggest results from a small laboratory study from the US. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and currently affects over 13 million people worldwide. The direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer care is over $100bn (€81bn) in the US alone. The direct cost of Alzheimer care in the UK was estimated at £15bn (€22bn).
Although the mechanism of Alzheimer’s is not clear, significant data exists supporting the build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits. The new research appears to indicate that curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow colour, could help the body’s immune system clear away these deposits and reduce the risk of developing the disease.
“Curcumin improved ingestion of amyloid beta by immune cells in 50 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. These initial findings demonstrate that curcumin may help boost the immune system of specific Alzheimer’s disease patients,” said Dr Milan Fiala from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Curcumin has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and cancer-fighting abilities.
The research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Vol. 10, pp. 1-7), adds to this by reporting on a small laboratory study using blood from six Alzheimer’s disease patients (aged 65 to 84) and three healthy controls. The focus was on macrophages, the ‘foot soldiers’ of the immune system that clean up harmful waste products in the body, including beta-amyloid deposits. The isolated macrophages were exposed to a curcumin-derived compound (provided by phytonutrient manufacturer Sabinsa Corporation) for 24 hours and then introduced beta-amyloid. It was found that macrophages from three out of six Alzheimer’s disease patients showed improved uptake or ingestion of the waste product compared to the patients’ macrophages not treated with curcumin.
The age of the patient and the stage of the Alzheimer’s disease appeared to be key factors in the effectiveness of the curcumin compound, report the researchers, with younger patients and patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s apparently more receptive to the benefits. No effects were reported for the macrophages from the healthy controls when exposed the curcumin-derived compound.
The mechanism behind these apparent effects is not clear and significant further study is needed to further examine the potential effects. Some caution is also warranted due to curcumin levels in some patients already being relatively high due to participation in another UCLA study.”Our next step will be to identify the factors that helped these immune cells respond,” said co-researcher Laura Zhang from UCLA.
“Immunomodulation of the innate immune system by curcuminoids might be a safe approach to immune clearance of amyloidosis in Alzheimer’s Disease brain,” concluded the researchers.The new study extends previous findings examining the neuroprotective
effects of curcumin. Experts recommend however that consumers wishing to make use of curcumin’s properties consume it in supplement form rather than eating more curries, which tend to be rather high in fat in their Western form. The study was funded by the Alzheimer’s Disease Association and private donors.
Curcumin is apparently more than your typical kitchen spice. It’s the substance that gives ginger its yellowish colour, and it has been implicated in the treatment of certain eye diseases and conditions. One of those is known as chronic anterior uveitis (CAU), an inflammatory condition of the vascular layer of the eye, particularly the area comprising the iris.
In one small study, Curcumin was given orally to 32 chronic anterior uveitis patients who were divided into two groups. The first group received Curcumin alone, whereas the second group received a combination of Curcumin and antitubercular treatment.
Amazingly, all of the patients treated with Curcumin alone improved, compared to a response rate of 86% among those receiving the combination therapy. The researchers concluded that Curcumin was just as effective as corticosteroid therapy, the only available standard treatment for chronic anterior uveitis at present, adding that “the lack of side effects with Curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids.” Similar research using rats and rabbits found that Curcumin effectively inhibited chemically induced cataract formation, even at very low dietary levels. The same study also found, for the first time, that this type of induced cataract may be accompanied by apoptosis of epithelial cells in the eye and that Curcumin may lessen the apoptotic effect.
In one of the earliest studies examining Curcumin as a potential cataract therapy, researchers fed two groups of rats, diets that included corn oil, or a combination of Curcumin and corn oil for 14 days. Afterward, their lenses were removed and examined for the presence of lipid peroxidation. The scientists discovered that “the lenses from Curcumin-treated rats were much more resistant to. induced opacification than were lenses from control animals.”Awasthi S et al. Curcumin protects against4-hydroxy-2-trans-nonenal-induced cataract formation in rat lenses. Am J ClinNutr 1996 Nov;64 (5):761-6.Lal B et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior veitis. Phytother Res 1999 Jun;13(4):318-22.Pandya U et al. Dietary curcumin prevents ocular toxicity of naphthalene in rats. Toxicol Lett 2000 Jun 5;115(3):195-204.
Curcumin may Block the Progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
(Reuters Health) – Preliminary studies in rats suggest that curcumin, a compound found in the curry spice turmeric, may block the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS)
According to researcher Dr. Chandramohan Natarajan of Vanderbilt University in Nashville,Tennessee, rats with an MS-like illness showed little or no signs of disease symptoms after being injected with curcumin, while animals without the treatment went on to severe paralysis.
No one knows what causes multiple sclerosis, in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spine. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include muscle weakness and stiffness, balance and coordination problems, numbness and vision disturbances.
Interest in the potential neuroprotective properties of curcumin rose after studies found very low levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s in elderly Indian population.
Added to this were studies confirming curcumin as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, effective in wound healing. And just last fall, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles reported that curcumin appeared to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice.
In their 30-day study, Natarajan and co-researcher Dr. John Bright gave injections of 50- and 100-microgram doses of curcumin, three times per week, to a group of mice bred to develop a disease called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)–an autoimmune condition used by researchers as a model for multiple sclerosis because it also results in the slow erosion of myelin.
They then watched the rats for signs of MS-like neurological impairment. By day 15, rats who had not received curcumin developed EAE to such an extent that they displayed complete paralysis of both hind limbs, according to Natarajan.
In contrast, rats given the 50-microgram dose of the curry compound showed only minor symptoms, such as a temporarily stiff tail. And rats given the 100-microgram dose appeared completely unimpaired throughout the 30 days of the
The results didn’t really surprise Natarajan. “In Asian countries, such as India, China, who are eating more spicy foods, more yellow compounds like curcumin…there are only very, very rare reports of MS,” he pointed out. He said the doses the rats received were roughly equivalent in human terms to those found in a typical Indian diet.
Just how curcumin might work to thwart the progression of demyelinization remains unclear. But the Nashville researchers believe it may interrupt the production of IL-12, a protein that plays a key role in signaling immune cells to launch their assault on the myelin sheath.
Natarajan stressed that “we have to do a lot of work on this,” including examining other potential mechanisms by which curcumin slows EAE and, potentially, MS. The work remains preliminary, and MS patients should follow their doctor’s advice when it comes to treating the disease. Still, Natarajan said adding a little curry to the diet couldn’t hurt. “I think using this spice in their food could be of help,” he said.
Thursday 20 March, 2004 Washington, Mar 20 (ANI): A new study has found that a Curcumin, an essential ingredient of curry, prevents alcohol-related liver damage.The study on rats has found that the substance that gives the spice turmeric its distinctive yellow colour, stopped the changes caused by excessive alcohol consumption that lead to liver disease. The research, published in American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, adds to the repertoire of benefits already shown by curcumin, which include anti-oxidant properties and anti-cancer activity.
However, it does not mean that people eating curries can safely drink more alcohol, warns Kalle Jokelainen, one of the team of Finnish and American researchers. Curcumin is not harmful, and it may protect your liver from liver disease if you have very high amounts – but this has only been seen in rats,” he says. For the study, the team gave rats fish oil with either ethanol or dextrose added for four weeks. The rats that also received doses of Curcumin did not develop the fatty livers, necrosis and inflammation seen in those not given the spice extract. Furthermore, the doses used in the experiments were much greater than would ever be used in cooking with turmeric, he says. Alcoholic liver disease is a serious problem, he says, but the answer is to drink less. Jokelainen, at Helsinki University Central Hospital, said that Curcumin
somehow blocks the activation of a key molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB). This molecule directs the chain of events that leads to inflammation and death of tissue. It is activated by many stimuli including radiation, heat shock and endotoxins – the toxins associated with bacteria.
If you drink too much, that leads to leaky gut syndrome,” Jokelainen told New Scientist.”Somehow endotoxins from the gut reach the blood and are carried to the liver. The liver is a filter and inactivates the endotoxin, but the price paid is that NFkB is activated.” (ANI)
Curcumin and Melanoma – Can a Spice Help Fight Cancer?
The Asian spice that gives curried rice its bright yellow color could someday provide researchers with a new way to fight skin cancer. Small doses of curcumin, a spice ground from the turmeric root and a common ingredient in curry, not only stopped the growth of melanoma cells in the lab but also caused the cells to self-destruct, say researchers from the University of Texas’s M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The researchers tested curcumin on lab-grown melanoma cells to see if the spice could stop the cells from surviving and reproducing. The more curcumin they added to the melanoma, the more cells died. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells grow uncontrollably and do not self-destruct. Increased doses of curcumin also stopped the melanoma cells from reproducing.
One coauthor of the paper, which will be published in the August 15 issue of the journal Cancer, Bharat Aggarwal, said curcumin is intriguing to researchers because of its low toxicity. While most forms of chemotherapy cause serious adverse reactions in cancer patients, studies have shown that people can tolerate large amounts of curcumin with no ill effects. Curcumin also works as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent.
Doctors diagnose roughly 53,600 people with melanoma each year. The cancerous cells develop as irregularly shaped and colored moles on the surface of the skin. The cancer resists many chemotherapy treatments and can metastasize, spreading to other organs in the body.
Aggarwal and his colleagues believe that curcumin blocks the signals a cancer cell needs to survive. David Fisher, director of the melanoma program at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, said that looking at how curcumin blocks these signals was one of the more important discoveries in this paper.
But is Indian food really a cure for cancer? While this laboratory evidence is interesting, researchers say, it doesn’t prove that curcumin will help fight cancer in humans. “It’s way in its infancy,” Allan Halpern, chief of dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, says of the research. “The problem is that, to date, we do not have is clinical data to support the fact that using these agents as a chemo-preventative strategy is effective.”
In the meantime, Aggarwal and his colleagues continue to tests curcumin on a wide variety of cancers, including breast cancer. “Curcumin is a perfect alternative [to chemotherapy], but we have to prove that it works,” he says.
Curcurmin induce apoptosis in human cervix epithelioid carcinoma cells (HeLa) through activation of caspase- 3 and P53 C-S Yu PhDa, JK-S Chan Bsb, J-G Chung PhD, Center of General Education, cDepartment of Microbiology; China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan, bDepartment of Biochemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada “Curcurmin has been demonstrated in rats to prevent azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci, putative precursor lesions in the colon and in mice to prevent tumorigenesis induced by azoxymethane in the colon and by N-ethyl N-nitrosoguanidine in the duodenum and forestomach. The mechanism of curcurmin affect on human cervix cancer cells was not addressed. Therefore, curcurmin was used to study the biological activities on the human cervix epithelioid carcinoma cells (HeLa).
On MTT assay, curcurmin showed obvious cytotoxic effects and inhibit the proliferation of HeLA cells. The cytotoxic effects of curcurmin was accompanied by the dose- and time-dependent appearance of characteristics of apoptosis including DNA fragmentation (gel electrophoresis) and sub-G1 ratio (flow cytometric assay). The HeLA cells cotreated with curcurmin caused a rapid transient induction of caspase-3 activity, but not caspase-1 activity. We also found out that cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and decrease of pro-caspase-3 protein were detected in curcurmin-treated HeLa cells. Increased
the pro-apoptotic protein (bax), cytochrome C release and caspases-9 and 3 activity and decreased anti-apoptotic protein (Mcl-1) were detected in HeLa cells after cotreated with curcurmin. We also used PCR and multiplex PCR methods to examine the caspase 3 gene expression and the results show that curcurmin induced caspase-3 gene expression.Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Nice, France; February 7 – 10, 2004; in poster session 795 (Apoptosis mechanisms).
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There has been a worldwide increase in allergy and asthma over the last few decades, particularly in industrially developed nations. This resulted in a renewed interest to understand the pathogenesis of allergy in recent years. The progress made in the pathogenesis of allergic disease has led to the exploration of novel alternative therapies, which include herbal medicines as well. Curcumin, has been shown to have anti-allergic and inflammatory potential. One of the peer reviewed research papers clearly points to Curcumins power in helping the growth of this huge allergy epidemic, in fact its finite conclusion were that curcumin has the potential therapeutic value for controlling allergic responses resulting from exposure to allergens.
Real Hope for Asthma Relief in humans – Curcumin attenuates Allergen-induced airway
Anti-asthmatic property of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a natural product from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, has been proven on guinea pigs – this was done using ovalbumin (OVA) to develop certain characteristic features of asthma. There was Allergen induced airway constriction and airway hyperreactivity to histamine. Guinea pigs were treated with curcumin during sensitization (to examine its preventive effect) or after developing impaired airways features (to examine its therapeutic effect).
Curcumin (20 mg/kg body weight) treatment significantly inhibits OVA-induced airway constriction (p<0.0399) and airway hyperreactivity (p<0.0043). The results demonstrate that curcumin is effective in improving the impaired airways features in the OVA-sensitized guinea pigs. This in human terms simply means we have an equivalent natural non steroidal (& without their side effects) alternative for Asthma sufferers worldwide.
Please note this is a supplement and should be a preventative over time if you are susceptible – not as a treatment in an emergency.