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Turmeric Prevents Cancer
Turmeric, the most common ingredient of indian food, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent cancer and other diseases.
Turmeric, the spice that makes curry yellow, not to mention French's mustard and Hindu priests' robes, has yet another life: It's a promising potential weapon against cancers, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's, psoriasis and other diseases.

"We know that it's an effective preventive at low doses," said Dr Bharat Aggarwal of MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston. "Quest-ion is whether larger doses can be therapeutic."

At least a dozen clinical trials on humans are under way to test the safety and dosages of turmeric's main chemical, curcumin.

The spice, which is a relative of ginger, comes from the stems of the root of a large-leafed plant widely grown in Asia, especially in Maharashtra. The stems are boiled, dried and crushed to a powder with a bitter woody taste that's used to cure stomach and skin ailments.

Low rates among Indians for colorectal, prostate and lung cancers as well as coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's drew Western researchers to curcumin. While genetics might explain the low incidences, the rise in rates among Indians whose parents moved to Western countries suggested a dietary cause. Subsequent lab tests on diseased cells and in mice strengthened claims for curcumin.

It's been demonstrated in animals to protect the liver, inhibit tumours, reduce inflammation and fight infections. Curcumin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to researchers, and may help lower cholesterol.

A report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in December found that in mice injected with a chemical that mimics Alzheimer's, curcumin reduced by hall the buildup of knots in the brain called amyloid plaques, which have been linked to Alzheimer's.
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Posted on : 23/11/2005
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