Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death

Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death
4.3 (86%) 10 votes

The spice turmeric appears to be able to switch back on the self-destruct mechanism within cancer cells.

Comenta
Comparte

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The anticancer effects of the turmeric pigment curcumin extend well beyond its ability to block carcinogens. The anticancer effects of curcumin mainly result from the multitude of ways it regulates “programmed cell death.”

It’s estimated that the human body consists of ten or so trillion cells. That’s a million million. “Almost all of these cells get turned over within approximately 100 days.” We’re like a new person, every three months. We reinvent ourselves physically. And, since we’re just made up of three things—air, water, and food—those are the only inputs—we are what we eat, literally, physically.

In a sense, our body has to rebuild itself every three months with the building materials we deliver to it through our stomach. Our mouths are like the access road to the continual construction site to our body. Trucks roll in three times a day.

What do we want them to deliver? Some shoddy cheap stuff we scrounged around for, or bought at the discount outlets, that’s just going to fall apart? Or, do we want to build our foundation solid? We are each walking around inside the greatest known architectural structures in the universe. Let’s not ruin such grand blueprints by consuming junk.

Anyway, we only own the biological real estate we’re born with. So, if we need to rebuild every three months, we also need a wrecking crew, right? If we’re replacing ten trillion every hundred days, that means we have to kill off like a hundred billion cells every day, normally. Out with the old; in with the new.

We do that primarily through a process called apoptosis—pre-programmed cell death, from the Greek ptosis, meaning falling, and apo, meaning away from. So, it’s our cells falling away from our body. For example, we all used to have webbed fingers and toes. Literally. Each one of us in the womb, until about four months. Then, apoptosis kicks in, and the cells in the webbing in between kill themselves off to separate our fingers.

Some cells in our body overstay their welcome, though—like cancer cells. They don’t die when they’re supposed to, by somehow turning off their suicide genes. What can we do about it? Well, one of the ways curry kills cancer cells is by reprogramming the self-destruct mechanism back into cancer cells. Let me just run through one of these pathways, just so you can see the complexity.

FAS is a so-called death receptor, which activates the FAS-associated death domain, along with death receptor five, and death receptor four. FADD then activates caspase-8, which ignites the death machine, and kills the cell. Where does curry powder fit into all this?

In cancer cells, curcumin, the pigment in the spice turmeric that makes curry powder yellow, upregulates and activates death receptors—as has been demonstrated in human kidney cancer cells, as well as skin cancer, and nose and throat cancer.

It can also activate the death machine directly—as has been shown in lung cancer and colon cancer. Caspases are so-called executioner enzymes, that when activated, destroy the cancer cell from within, by chopping up proteins left and right—kind of “death by a thousand cuts.”

And that’s just one pathway. Here’s all the other ways curcumin can affect apoptosis. And, here’s all the different types of cancer cells curcumin can kill. But, it tends to leave normal cells alone, for reasons that are not fully understood. Overall, this review showed that “curcumin can kill a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms.”

And, it’s because curcumin can affect numerous mechanisms of cell death at the same time, it’s “possible that cancer cells may not [easily] develop resistance to curcumin-induced cell death,” like they do to most chemotherapy. “Furthermore, its ability to kill tumor cells and not normal cells makes curcumin an attractive candidate”—for, supper? Can’t make money on some spice you can buy anywhere: “an attractive candidate for drug development.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Lucidialohman and Donovan & Meggin Eastman via flickr, and Susan Arnold via Wikimedia. Original animation thanks to the wizardry of Amélie Bernier-Jean, M.D. and her husband, Shane Barrett.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The anticancer effects of the turmeric pigment curcumin extend well beyond its ability to block carcinogens. The anticancer effects of curcumin mainly result from the multitude of ways it regulates “programmed cell death.”

It’s estimated that the human body consists of ten or so trillion cells. That’s a million million. “Almost all of these cells get turned over within approximately 100 days.” We’re like a new person, every three months. We reinvent ourselves physically. And, since we’re just made up of three things—air, water, and food—those are the only inputs—we are what we eat, literally, physically.

In a sense, our body has to rebuild itself every three months with the building materials we deliver to it through our stomach. Our mouths are like the access road to the continual construction site to our body. Trucks roll in three times a day.

What do we want them to deliver? Some shoddy cheap stuff we scrounged around for, or bought at the discount outlets, that’s just going to fall apart? Or, do we want to build our foundation solid? We are each walking around inside the greatest known architectural structures in the universe. Let’s not ruin such grand blueprints by consuming junk.

Anyway, we only own the biological real estate we’re born with. So, if we need to rebuild every three months, we also need a wrecking crew, right? If we’re replacing ten trillion every hundred days, that means we have to kill off like a hundred billion cells every day, normally. Out with the old; in with the new.

We do that primarily through a process called apoptosis—pre-programmed cell death, from the Greek ptosis, meaning falling, and apo, meaning away from. So, it’s our cells falling away from our body. For example, we all used to have webbed fingers and toes. Literally. Each one of us in the womb, until about four months. Then, apoptosis kicks in, and the cells in the webbing in between kill themselves off to separate our fingers.

Some cells in our body overstay their welcome, though—like cancer cells. They don’t die when they’re supposed to, by somehow turning off their suicide genes. What can we do about it? Well, one of the ways curry kills cancer cells is by reprogramming the self-destruct mechanism back into cancer cells. Let me just run through one of these pathways, just so you can see the complexity.

FAS is a so-called death receptor, which activates the FAS-associated death domain, along with death receptor five, and death receptor four. FADD then activates caspase-8, which ignites the death machine, and kills the cell. Where does curry powder fit into all this?

In cancer cells, curcumin, the pigment in the spice turmeric that makes curry powder yellow, upregulates and activates death receptors—as has been demonstrated in human kidney cancer cells, as well as skin cancer, and nose and throat cancer.

It can also activate the death machine directly—as has been shown in lung cancer and colon cancer. Caspases are so-called executioner enzymes, that when activated, destroy the cancer cell from within, by chopping up proteins left and right—kind of “death by a thousand cuts.”

And that’s just one pathway. Here’s all the other ways curcumin can affect apoptosis. And, here’s all the different types of cancer cells curcumin can kill. But, it tends to leave normal cells alone, for reasons that are not fully understood. Overall, this review showed that “curcumin can kill a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms.”

And, it’s because curcumin can affect numerous mechanisms of cell death at the same time, it’s “possible that cancer cells may not [easily] develop resistance to curcumin-induced cell death,” like they do to most chemotherapy. “Furthermore, its ability to kill tumor cells and not normal cells makes curcumin an attractive candidate”—for, supper? Can’t make money on some spice you can buy anywhere: “an attractive candidate for drug development.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Lucidialohman and Donovan & Meggin Eastman via flickr, and Susan Arnold via Wikimedia. Original animation thanks to the wizardry of Amélie Bernier-Jean, M.D. and her husband, Shane Barrett.

Nota del Doctor

This is the last of a three part video series on turmeric and cancer. If you missed the first two, check out: Back to Our Roots: Curry & Cancer and Carcinogen-Blocking Effects of Turmeric Curcumin.

Other herbs and spices, such as garlic (see #1 Anticancer Vegetable) and amla (see Amla vs. Cancer Cell Growth, may have similar selective effects against cancer cells.

I talk more about the concept of apoptosis, programmed cell death, in:

What else can turmeric do? Check out some of my other videos on turmeric:

Stay tuned for another three-part cancer series coming soon:

  1. Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer
  2. Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells
  3. Phytates for the Treatment of Cancer

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

Deja una respuesta

Tu correo electrónico no se publicará Los campos obligatorios están marcados *

Pin It en Pinterest

Share This