A chemical ingredient found in turmeric or curry powder can prevent the spread of melanoma and other forms of cancer.
A new study had found that curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, can block a biological pathway that is required for certain forms of cancer to spread. The chemical in the spices inhibits a protein called nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a kind of protein that can cause abnormal inflammations that can lead to a number of disorders like arthritis and cancer.
Researchers from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center had been researching on the antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory powers of the chemical as they made the discovery.
Curcumin is extracted from turmeric and had long been used in India to flavor foods, as a preservative, as a coloring agent and as part of the folk medicine.
Researchers have found out that a daily dose of curcumin powder retards the growth of multiple myeloma and pancreatic cancer. Researchers are still studying the effect of curcumin on breast cancer. The chemical had kept the protein NF-kB inactive as well as inducing apoptosis or programmed cell deaths for the cancer cells.
The cancer preventive power of the spice may help researchers develop new ways of treating fatal cancers as never before.
Reference: Cancer, online edition, July 2005, ,