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article imageResearch: Anti-cancer spice promotes lung cancer

By E. Hector Corsi     Aug 21, 2014 in Health
A new review of the effects of the active component of the spice turmeric shows it can cause lung cancer, and increase the size of lung tumors.
Curcumin, the main pharmacological component of the spice turmeric, can increase the number of lung tumors, and their progression to later stage cancer.
A new review published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics highlights curcumin’s benefits against cancer, but also surprisingly shows that it promotes lung cancer.
Dr. Lynne Howells, of the University of Leicester in the UK, describes research that points to curcumin’s pro-carcinogenic effects.
A recent study showed that adding curcumin to mice’s diets caused a statistically significant increase in the number of lung tumors. Mice who ate curcumin had a significant increase in oxidative damage to the lungs after one week of the curcumin diet, as compared to mice who didn’t eat curcumin. Researchers suggest that curcumin can increase tumor progression in already damaged smoker’s and ex-smokers lungs’. The doses used are comparable to those used in human clinical trials.
The review also cites research published in the journal “Carcinogenesis that shows that "curcumin treatment increased metastatic tumor cross-sectional area by 46%…and volume by 70% compared to the controls…Curcumin may stimulate metastatic growth by upregulating angiogenesis and inflammation."
Thus, curcumin causes pro-carcinogenic oxidative damage, increases inflammation, and boosts angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels that feed lung cancer. Curcumin does have potential benefits against some types of cancers, and other illnesses. But curcumin and curcumin supplements should be used with extreme caution, and their potential benefits weighed carefully against the risk of lung cancer.
More about Curcumin, curcumin cancer, curcumin lung cancer
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