October 28, 2009

Curry, new anti-cancer treatment

Press TV - October 28, 2009 13:40:15 GMT

Curry had long been thought to have healing powers in certain cultures; a new study finds that the bright yellow curry spice, turmeric, can also kill off cancer cells.

While many studies are assessing the effects of curcumin -- a compound commonly found in curry -- in treating arthritis and dementia; the study published in the British Journal of Cancer reported that the extract can start killing cancer cells within 24 hours.

It, however, loses its anti-cancer properties as soon as it is digested.

Faulty cells normally die through apoptosis or programmed suicide when proteins known as caspases are switched on in these cell; curcumin, however, is believed to use an alternative cell signaling system to make these cells digest themselves.

The extract has shown promising results in killing esophageal cancer cells — one of the leading cancers in the modern world linked to rising rates of obesity, alcohol intake and reflux disease — in the laboratory.

Scientists are optimistic that their findings will help develop new methods to treat cancer.

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