A recent study done at the Institute for Cancer Research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center concluded that curcumin, the active medicinal component of turmeric root, not only stops pancreatic cells from metastasizing, or spreading, but inhibits pancreatic tumor growth as well.
The study exposed in vitro cancer cells to liposomal curcumin, and the researchers found that the cancer cells were unable to replicate and proliferate as they normally would. They then duplicated the test on live subjects by feeding liposomal curcumin to mice with pancreatic cancer and associated tumors. The results were the same—curcumin fed just three times per week for four weeks was sufficient to contain the spread of cancer cells and block tumor growth by suppressing angiogenesis, the ability of tumors to develop the blood vessels they need to expand.
The researchers noted in their summary, “These data clearly establish the efficacy of liposomal curcumin in reducing human pancreatic cancer growth in the examined model. The therapeutic curcumin-based effects, with no limiting side-effects, suggest that liposomal curcumin may be beneficial in patients with pancreatic cancer.”
Liposomal curcumin is simply curcumin taken with a fat-containing carrier. Since curcumin is only fat-soluble, taking it in a capsule of oil allows the body to utilize the extract for maximum benefit.
The results of the study highlight the value of supplementing with curcumin for those believed to be at risk of pancreatic cancer. This form of cancer is the most fatal of all cancers, as only 14% of those in Stage IA have a 5 year survival rate, a number that drops to 1% for those in Stage IV, the latest stage of cancer. It’s believed that one of the primary reasons for this is that pancreatic cancer is most often caught late—it can develop without some of the more overt signs of cancer showing, signs such as lumps in commonly felt places and abnormal skin growths.
Regular curcumin intake can not only serve as a preventative anticancer measure, but additionally aid the variety of other ways curcumin has been found to improve overall health, ranging from cardiovascular to inflammation issues. And you don’t need much to make a significant difference—the dosage used in the study was 20 mg/kg, or close to 1,500mg for the average 160 pound adult, which you can easily get in 3 typical 500mg capsules. As the majority of curcumin supplements are not liposomal, however, just make sure you take it with spoonful of healthy oil (like coconut, flax, or fish oil), or with a fat-containing meal.