Scientists have found a very unusual potential cancer-fighting technique: nanoparticles that carry curry into cancer cells. Specifically the particles were filled with curcumin, a compound found in curry.
The research by scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Austria was published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology.
Curcumin comes from the turmeric plant, which is commonly used in daals and other curries, and known for its distinctive bright yellow powder.
We already knew that curcumin works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Research has shown that when curcumin is absorbed by tumor cells, it stops the cell's growth cycle eventually killing the cell.
The trick is getting the curcumin into the cancerous cells.
Curcumin does not easily dissolve in water, so cells are unlikely to absorb the compound on their own. That's why simply eating lots of curry won't fight cancer. So the researchers packed the curcumin into tiny fat blobs called emulsomes. Emulsomes have a solid core of fat surrounded by a lipid layer that cells absorb easily.
The researchers packed curcumin into the middle of these emulsomes and dubbed them "CurcuEmulsomes." They tested the effectiveness of CurcuEmulsomes by exposing them to cancer cells in the lab. The cells successfully absorbed the CurcuEmulsomes. As the outer emulsome dissolved, curcumin was slowly and steadily released into the cells.
CurcuEmulsomes gradually release the curcumin in the cells. This is advantageous because the curcumin isn't used up all at once. Cancerous cells have more time to absorb the curcumin making it better able to kill more cells over time. This method is better than administering full dose at once that would provide cells time to recover before the next treatment.
The researchers now have to target the CurcuEmulsomes to cancerous cells inside the human body. In the meantime the research needs a big step forward in the development of ways to administer other drugs that don't dissolve easily in water and cells are likely to absorb.
1. Cancer Prevention: prevent prostate cancer, stop the growth of existing prostate cancer and even destroy cancer cells. Multiple researchers have found that the active components in turmeric makes it one of the best protectors against radiation-induced tumors. It also has a preventive effect against tumor cells such as T-cell leukemia, colon carcinomas and breast carcinomas.
2. Arthritis Reliever: anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are great for treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, turmeric’s antioxidant property destroys free radicals in the body that damage body cells. It has been found that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who consume turmeric on a regular basis experience much relief from the moderate to mild joint pains as well as joint inflammation.
3. Diabetes Control:
Used in the treatment of diabetes by helping to moderate insulin levels, also improves glucose control and increases the effect of medications used to treat diabetes. Another significant benefit is turmeric’s effectiveness in helping reduce insulin resistance, which may prevent the onset of Type-2 diabetes.
4. Heals Wounds: Natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can be used as an effective disinfectant. If you have a cut or burn, you can sprinkle turmeric powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process. Helps repair damaged skin and may be used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
5. Alzheimer's Disease Prevention: Supports overall brain health by aiding in the removal of plaque build-up in the brain and improving the flow of oxygen. This can also prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Improves Digestion: turmeric is helpful in treating most forms of inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis. However it is important to bear in mind that people suffering from any kind of gallbladder disease should not take turmeric as a dietary supplement as it may worsen the condition.
7. Natural Liver Detoxifier: Detoxifies the blood through the production of enzymes and turmeric increases production of these vital enzymes. These vital enzymes break down and reduce toxins in the body. Turmeric also is believed to invigorate and improve blood circulation.
8. Maintains Ideal Body Weight: A component present in turmeric helps increase the flow of bile, an important component in the breakdown of dietary fat. Those who wish to lose weight or treat obesity and other associated diseases can benefit from having one teaspoon of turmeric powder with every meal.
9. Reduces Cholesterol Level:
Acts as a food seasoning can reduce serum cholesterol levels. It is a known fact that high cholesterol can lead to other serious health problems. Maintaining a proper cholesterol level can prevent many cardiovascular diseases.
10. Boosts Immune System: Contains a substance known as lipopolysaccharide, which helps stimulate the body’s immune system. Its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents also help strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system lessens the chance of suffering from colds, flu and coughs.
Asst. Director (Ayurveda)
National Medicinal Plant Board, Ayush Bhawan,