Many question that we decided after 3 months of research to go herbal route… via our Naturopath and she works in the office and closely with Carls Radiology team. Thought I would start taking the different herbs in case it might come of need for someone at some time in their life and are researching alternatives.
Please however always check with your medical care provider as they are nothing to mess with.
Curcumin and Cancer
Anti-inflammatory Effects of Curcumin
Curcumin inhibits enzymes which participate in the synthesis of inflammatory substances in the body. The natural anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin is comparable in strength to steroidal drugs, and some nonsteroidal drugs and does not have the same have dangerous side effects. (9, 10, 11) Inflammation results from a complex series of actions and/or reactions triggered by the body’s immunological response to tissue damage. The processes of healing and infection fighting produce a moderate level of inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to degenerative conditions like arthritis, arteriosclerosis, etc. Several clinical studies have compared the effects of curcumin at dosages of 400 mg. per day to 1200 mg. per day to the drug phenylbutazone. Curcumin was as effective as phenylbutazone in treating post operative inflammation and arthritis. (9, 10, 11, 12)
Curcumin prevents the synthesis of several inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Curcumin has a similar action to aspirin except that curcumin does not cause vascular thrombosis the way aspirin does. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties may be attributed to its ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, as well as neutrophil function during inflammatory states. (11, 12)
Curcumin as an Antioxidant
Free radicals can originate from environmental chemicals, tissue injury, infections and auto-immune processes. Antioxidants protect the body from damage from free radicals. Water- and fat-soluble extracts of turmeric and its curcumin component exhibit strong antioxidant activity, comparable to vitamins C and E. One study showed curcumin to be eight times more powerful that vitamin E in preventing lipid peroxidation. Taken in group arrangements such as C-complex, curcuminoids are three times as potent in neutralizing free-radical molecules.(13) Several studies have demonstrated curcumin’s ability to reduce oxidative stress. (13, 14, 15, 16) It appears that curcumin’s role as an antioxidant may be due in part to its ability to down regulate nitric oxide formation. Nitric oxide is a key element in inflammation and may contribute to carcinogenesis.
Cardiovascular Effects of Curcumin
Curcumin lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreases susceptibility of low density lipoprotein (LDL) to lipid peroxidation, and inhibiting platelet aggregation. These effects have been noted even with low doses of turmeric.
Curcumin Side Effects
Reported side effects are uncommon and are generally limited to mild stomach distress. There is some evidence to suggest that turmeric extracts can be toxic to the liver when taken in high doses or for a prolonged period of time. For this reason, individuals with liver disease, heavy drinkers, and those taking hepatotoxic medications should have liver enzyme tests and be under the care of their physician if they also wish to take turmeric products.
Curcumin was found to be pharmacologically safe in human clinical trials with doses up to 10 g/day. A phase 1 human trial with 25 subjects using up to 8000 mg of Curcumin per day for 3 months found no toxicity from Curcumin. Five other human trials using 1125-2500 mg of Curcumin per day have also been found it to be safe.
There is a possibility of allergic contact dermatitis from turmeric.