Can Curried Dishes Help Prevent Cancer?

It turns out that many foods and spices taste good to humans for a reason: They sometimes have powerful disease-preventing properties. At least, this appears to be the case for curry, according to University of California, Los Angeles researchers. 

In a study, a team of scientists found that curcumin, a main component of curry powder, helps suppress cancer-inducing cell signaling pathways. Specifically, the compound was shown to reduce molecular activity that contributes to malignant head and neck cancer.

"And it not only affected the cancer by inhibiting a critical cell signaling pathway, it also affected the saliva itself by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines within the saliva," said senior author Marilene Wang, M.D.

Study volunteers with head and neck cancer ate 1,000-milligram tablets of curcumin. One hour later, researchers tested their saliva and found that pro-inflammatory proteins were reduced and cell signaling pathways known to contribute to tumor growth were inhibited.

Previous research has suggested that curry powder and turmeric have anti-inflammatory capabilities. In fact, the spices have been traditionally used in Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian cultures for hundreds of years in topical anti-aging treatments, wound-healing and the alleviation of menstrual cramps, the study authors noted.

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Easy Health Options Staff

By Easy Health Options Staff

Submitted by the staff at Easy Health Options®.