Turmeric and Resveratrol Stronger than Drugs for Cancer Protection

October 26, 2004

NF-Kappa B is a messenger chemical released in your body. Releasing NF-Kappa B controls genes that cause inflammation. This inflammation causes cellular damage and allows the proliferation of cancerous tumor cells. Proliferation is the increase in number of tumor cells because the cells are allowed to grow and multiply. Studies show that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit this activity and decrease the risk of particular cancers.

In this study, researchers compared 12 agents that help control inflammation. The agents included aspirin, prescription and nonprescription drugs, even corticosteroids, chemotherapy, and herbs.

List of agents tested:

All of these agents inhibited the proliferation of tumor cells. The natural remedies Resveratrol and Turmeric were much stronger than the other 8 agents (although ibuprofen came close to them in protective activity). The Turmeric and Resveratrol matched the effectiveness of Celebrex. Amazingly, they were very-very close in protective activity to the strongest agent, the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen, but without the dangerous side effects and toxicity. The study appears in the October 18th, 2004 issue of the journal Oncogene.

Arthritis Drugs Have Cancer Fighting Ability

Arthritis drugs inhibit inflammation by blocking the COX-2 enzyme. According to this new research, blocking the COX-2 enzyme may help fight cancer. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles announced on Friday that these drugs may have the ability to improve the immune systems capability of attacking brain tumors other tumors. The COX-2 enzyme disrupts the immune systems ability to properly defend us from tumors, allowing cancer cells to thrive and multiply. Accordingly, blocking the COX-2 enzyme boosts the immune systems ability to identify, target, and attack cancer cells.

According to lead researcher, Dr. John Yu, when the COX-2 enzyme is secreted it shuts down proper immune function in the brain preventing the brains immune system from tracking and attacking brain tumors. Dr. Yu hopes to incorporate use of COX-2 inhibitors with all brain cancer patients. The study is published in the October 1st issue of the journal Immunology.

Elderly Latina Women Risk Depression if Low in Folic Acid

883 Latina women aged 60 or older were checked for Folic Acid status and also for symptoms of depression in the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (SALSA). High scores for depression were correlated with the lowest blood levels of folic acid. The study is published in the October 2004 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

It is Harder to Absorb Calcium as Women Get Older

It has been assumed that Calcium absorption becomes more difficult with age. In this study 262 healthy postmenopausal women aged 40 to 87 years of age were checked for the absorption of calcium and the relationship of calcium absorption to age, vitamin D status, and other factors. The researchers used radioactively-tagged calcium for tracking purposes. It was found that calcium absorption decreased by 28% in the 25 women aged 75 or older vs. the younger women. The study is published in the October 2004 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

The suggested level of daily calcium intake for women over the age of 75 is 1,500mg per day. Perhaps it should be a little bit higher. If there is a 28% decreased rate of absorption that means 1,080mg will be absorbed for every 1,500mg of elemental calcium consumed. To bring this up to an absorption level of 1,200mg a woman over the age of 75 would have to consume almost 1,700mg of elemental calcium.