Turmeric: A potential cure for cancer?

 

stock photo, yellow, colorful, spice, jar, jars, spices, turmericCure. A very strong and controversial word within the medical and pharmaceutical communities.  Turmeric, a plant that produces a spice for medicinal use and food preparation, has been benefiting cultures in Asia for thousands of years.  Even recently, claims have been made about turmeric curing specific types of cancer.  Many people probably believe this to be an absurd claim, but does evidence exist to support this case?  I admit, how can a cheap spice available in many local markets compete with a very well funded pharmaceutical industry? The orange-yellowish powder is relatively new to the western world, arriving in Europe sometime in the mid-20th century.  Today, turmeric is talked about in almost every media outlet from mainstream to smaller independents.  Google analytic’s show a 300% growth of ‘turmeric’ searches within the last 5 years.  So, what is it about turmeric that has everyone energized?  Is there some truth behind these awe-inspiring claims?

The two main uses for turmeric are for medicinal and culinary purposes.  For the sake of this post, we’ll focus on the medicinal aspect.  The active ingredient in turmeric, and in small amounts of ginger, that shows to be beneficial to our health is a molecule called curcumin.  This powerful component of turmeric “exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects, and these anti-inflammatory effects may be protective against some form of cancer progression based on very preliminary research,” according to examine.com.  TTAC adds that, “Based on a 2011 study conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers found that the curcumin extract effectively differentiates between cancer cells and normal cells while activating cancer cell death (apoptosis).”

Aside from evidence curcumin is effective against certain types of cancer, it is also known to “help detoxify and rejuvenate the liver, reduce negative effects of iron overload , increase antioxidant capacity in the body, regenerate brain cells and improve cognitive function, reduce likelihood of and treats Alzheimer’s, is anti-inflammatory, reduce heart disease risk, reduce depression, and fight premature aging,” says naturalnews.com.  Examine.com has reviewed 288 individual, scientific studies on curcimin and created an easy to read matrix based on the various study results.  In this table you can see the magnitude of effect curcumin has on humans, the level of evidence to support said effect, and the level of consistency in the results.

Excerpt of the Human Effect Matrix | examine.com

Some personal testimonies are even more optimistic.  In one reported case, a woman eliminated stage-3 myeloma by using a strict regiment of curcumin.  Mrs. Dieneke Furguson was first diagnosed with the blood cancer in 2007 and it had spread quickly.  UK Daily Mail reports that, “Doctors say her case is the first recorded instance in which a patient has recovered by using the spice after stopping conventional medical treatments. With her myeloma spreading rapidly after three rounds of chemotherapy and four stem cell transplants, the 67-year-old began taking 8g of curcumin a day – one of the main compounds in turmeric.”

The Mayo Clinic, a well know cancer research and medical practice center, is hesitant to conclude that turmeric has any of the aforementioned qualities…in humans. However, in a monotonous write-up on their website mayoclinic.org, they do admit that research is “ongoing” and that “laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy.”  In my opinion, this is a highly notable statement from one of the largest “not-for-profit” hospitals, that happened to rake in almost $11 billion in revenue in 2016 ($278 million in retail pharmacy sales alone), that financially benefit from expensive and ghastly cancer treatments.  I did mention before that turmeric root powder was cheap, only costing about $25 for an organic, lead-free tested, 24 ounce bag.  It would be quite difficult for large medical clinics to profit from something you could grow in your backyard if further studies continue to prove the promising results.

There are a few downsides to curcumin to take note.  It has low bioavailability, meaning the body has challenges absorbing this powerful compound.  According to nautralnews.com, a few ways to increase absorption and maximize your curcumin intake is to combine this spice with healthy fats (olive oil, avocado), a black pepper extract called piperine, or combine with quercetin. “Foods high in quercetin include red wine, red grapes, onions, green tea, apples, cranberries, blueberries, black plums, red leaf lettuce, raw kale, chicory greens, raw spinach, sweet peppers, snap beans and raw broccoli. The best whole food source of quercetin is capers.”  Naturalnews continues, “Some test tube studies suggest that high concentration of curcumin can cause DNA damage as well as suppress the immune system.”  As with many things in life, moderation is important.  Curejoy.com reports that, “Dietary intake of turmeric on a regular basis is fine and seems to cause no side effects. However, some people have complained of stomach aches after prolonged ingestion of large amounts of turmeric. There have also been some reports of skin problems and irritation on consuming large amounts.”  In others words, follow recommended serving sizes and stop using if you are noticing negative side effects.  As with many non-regulated supplements, quality can vary.  Ensure you are buying turmeric or curcumin from a legitimate and trusted source.  If you plan to use turmeric for reasons beyond adding it to your daily diet as healthy, preventative measure, ensure you perform your own, adequate research.

In conclusion, there have been a vast amount of studies performed on turmeric that are showing promising results.  These same studies have also shown that some of the benefits claimed may be more probable, while others claims may be more hype.  However, just about every source I reviewed did agree on one common fact, turmeric is effective to some degree.  The ongoing debate will be how effective is curcumin for each desired outcome.  If you make a choice to introduce proper quantities of turmeric into your diet, ensure you purchase from a trustworthy source.  Also, take steps to maximize the benefits of the turmeric you ingest by following the bioavailablily tips noted above.  Ask your friends or family members if they have any experience using turmeric and take an active part in researching and sharing your knowledge to others.

What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below or start your own discussion at forum.salusupdate.com.  Also, visit www.salusupdate.com for the latest health headlines from around the world.

 

Sources:

Curejoy.com

Examine.com | Turmeric

Examine.com | Curcumin

Mayo Clinic

Naturalnews.com | How turmeric kills cancer

Naturalnews.com | Stage-3 myeloma cancer completely eliminated

Postbulletin.com | Mayo Clinic finances

Thetruthaboutcancer.com (TTAC)

UK Daily Mail

Wikipedia | Turmeric

 

Can you be addicted to eating pizza?

Wood-fired, fresh flatbread hand spun to a thin crust, light on the homemade tomato sauce, topped with authentic mozzarella, dried oregano and greasy pepperoni.  A dish that will probably forever fill my pizza craving as long as I roam this planet.  I’ve had this special array of ingredients slapped together and served to me countless times all over the world.  When the stars align, it even seems I’ve managed to eat a slice of pizza multiple times a week when a mash of personal desires are mixed with various social events.  Am I addicted to pizza?  Actually, this questioned has never crept into my thoughts until I read a recent article on curejoy.com called The science behind pizza addiction and what it means.  Research has shown that addiction can occur with many highly processed foods and pizza was near the top of the list.  “Pizza, like drugs, causes sudden spikes and crashes in blood sugar while signalling changes to the neurological dopamine reward system,” states the Curejoy editorial.  Other addictive foods that unsurprisingly made the list included chocolate, chips, cookies, ice cream and french fries.  Ever had an uncontrollable urge to buy a large McDonald’s french fry and nothing else?  You are not alone.  Maybe you are a processed food obsessed, pizzaholic or maybe you are not.  The overall message is that you are aware of your processed food intake so you can take mitigating steps to improve your health and diet over time.  Eliminating pizza all together is a drastic step and one I personally will not take, but I am conscience about my overall eating habits to ensure a healthy balance of natural foods.  Before you go searching for your local Pizzaholics Anonymous meeting, try just reducing your monthly calls to your favorite pizza delivery establishment.

 

What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below or start your own discussion at forum.salusupdate.com.  Also, visit www.salusupdate.com for the latest health headlines from around the world.

Source: The Science Behind Pizza Addiction And What It Means

Will gorging over Thanksgiving weekend cause you to gain fat?

It is not a stretch to assume the majority of people who participated in this year’s Thanksgiving dining experience ate more than average during their idle conversations among various distant family members and friends.  Regardless if any of those stagnant conversations resulted in arguments or new bonds, most will at least have this one thing in common, they ate too much.  In an article from examine.com, “When you binge on Thanksgiving, what happens inside your body,” they calculated that the typical calorie intake on Thanksgiving is about 1,000 calories more than an average day.  Fortunately for us, the studies reviewed in the article concluded that this short-term overeating does not necessarily result in fat gain, but merely a slight weight gain.  Various factors can cause weight gain like excess water or the frequency of bathroom trips.  To give you an example, “the average morning pee weighs half a pound. The average poop weighs a third of a pound.”  What type of food you eat also plays a role in holiday weight gain.  Studies showed that over eating on proteins will cause less fat storage than over eating fats or over consuming alcohol.  Lifestyle will play an important role as well.  Are you moving from chair-to-couch-to-bathroom-to-chair watching TV or are taking a walk around the block or playing a family game of touch football?

For me, slight weight gain isn’t an issue and I think it’s good to lounge around at times. We have enough stress in our lives already.  However, overfeeding can also affect your gut bacteria. “Over 90% of your serotonin is in your gut, and gut serotonin plays a role in regulating body weight.”  This is more of a concern for repeat over feeders and probably shouldn’t worry if it’s only a holiday binge.

Overall, the studies in the article show that you do not need to agonize over your holiday meals, but rather focus on your overall eating habits and lifestyle.  If anything, the studies may give you that confidence to go ahead and eat what you want, so indulge (on occasion).  Christmas isn’t too far away to put on another impressive display of eating ability, but let’s all keep up a regular workout routine and good eating habits until then.

What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below or start your own discussion at forum.salusupdate.com.  Also, visit www.salusupdate.com for the latest health headlines from around the world.

Source: When you binge on Thanksgiving, what happens inside your body? | Examine.com

Spicy foods, salt, and my salsa recipe

Good news for spicy food lovers.  It my help you to reduce your salt intake according to an article from Live Science.  In many American diets, any reduction in sodium is most likely beneficial.  Packaged and many processed foods tend to have high salt content per serving.  Help to reduce your taste for salt by using my delicious and spicy Salus Update Salsa (almost a spread) recipe:

What you’ll need:

  • Two handfuls of your favorite hot pepper (I use jindungo peppers. They look like habanero peppers, but red in color with different taste)
  • 4-6 green serrano peppers (for flavor and adds a little green color)
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small onion (your favorite kind: white, yellow, red)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • Baking sheet lined with foil
  • 2 table spoons of vinegar or lemon juice
  • Small food processor
  • Plastic gloves [caution: DO NOT HANDLE THE BAKED PEPPERS WITH BARE HANDS.  The oils from the pepper can be very hot (spicy) if you touch your face or eyes after handling]

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F)
  2. Spread out your peppers, peeled onion, garlic cloves onto the baking sheet.
  3. Cover everything with olive oil. Don’t worry about using too much, you’ll use the remaining oil when processing the salsa.
  4. Lightly cover the ingredients with salt.  You need very little here.  I use about 3 pinches of salt.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until you’ll get a slight char on the peppers.
  6. Carefully remove pan from oven, then put on your plastic food handling gloves
  7. Begin adding your ingredients into the food processor. Remove the stems from the peppers.  For better consistency, I cut the garlic and onion into smaller pieces.
  8. Blend your ingredients to the consistency and taste you desire.  Adding the amount of oil, garlic, and onion you prefer.
  9. Blend in the vinegar or lemon juice for preservation
  10. Store in your favorite glass jar and in the fridge
  11. Use on sandwiches, eggs, chips…just about anything!  Very easy to make with only a few, natural and healthy ingredients.
Pre-baked Salus Update Spicy Salsa

 

Salus Update Spicy Salsa

Please share your comment below or start your own favorite recipe discussion at forum.salusupdate.com.  Also, see the latest health headlines from around the world at www.salusupdate.com.

Source: Spicy Foods Trick the Brain to Use Less Salt

Poor diet has gone global

“Diet is the second highest risk factor for early death after smoking,” stated recently in an article by The Guardian, based on a worldwide, comprehensive study conducted by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.  One of my initial thoughts is that it is mainly related to fast food and, various junk foods, growing in popularity and becoming easier to obtain around the world.  Developing countries continue to gain access to a slim selection of western fast food franchises sprouting up in their local communities.  Obviously, the study suggests that the rise of deaths related to diet is more complex than blaming junk food alone, but that a more concerning cause is simply a lack of access to healthier foods.

Another key note from the study is that life expectancy is rising. One issue is that “…while we’re living longer, much of that extra time is spent in ill-health.”  One goal of this blog is to raise awareness and promote good health for all ages and people, doing a very small part to help reverse poor health trends. It is up to all of us to spread the good word.

Please share your comment below or start your own discussion at forum.salusupdate.com.  Also, see the latest health headlines from around the world at www.salusupdate.com.

Source: Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths, global disease study reveals | Society | The Guardian

Recovery after a workout is important

So, you’ve already made it over the first hump and are now exercising regularly.  This may be a good time to begin thinking about maximizing your recovery.  Before you tune me out and think recovery methods only benefit extreme lifters and athletes, check out the article from Men’s Fitness.  It is a quick read and can plant a seed in your brain to indulge on for awhile.  A common theme from my past posts about starting small to reach your end goal can be applied here too.  There are multiple steps that can be taken to help you recover better and quicker.  If you are experience muscle soreness that can last up to four days, pick one or two of the methods mentioned in the article and try them for a week or two.  Over time, begin to work in other recovery improvement methods.  Also, I courage you to use this a starter guide, but continue to do more research to find the best recovery methods that work for your body and workout style and consult with a professional trainer, if needed.

What works for you?  Please leave a comment and share your experience or jump over to the Salus Update Forum to start a discussion.  Check out the latest health headlines from around the world at www.salusupdate.com.

Our expert answers your question about how to speed up the recovery process after intense workouts.

Source: How To Recover Faster After Workouts | Men’s Fitness