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Turmeric May Play a Role in Prostate Health

By CP Staff

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric that gives the spice its yellow color, killed a significant amount of cancer cells when teamed up with another anti-cancer agent, according to researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. An in vitro experiment with human prostate cancer cells revealed that curcumin works together with a naturally occurring molecule called TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand), which helps kill cancer cells. When curcumin was combined with TRAIL, the two agents killed two to three times more cancer cells than either treatment by itself. The combination killed up to 80% of the cancer cells. Due to the success of this experiment, the researchers hope that they or another team of scientists can replicate the results in animals. Other studies suggest turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and that it can help wounds heal. In animal studies, turmeric has protected against Alzheimers. In addition, turmeric contains plant phytochemicals associated with cancer prevention. Reference: The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, San Francisco, California. April 9, 2002.