Curcumin is a promising bioactive compound from turmeric (turmeric). Curcumin has already shown great effects in scientific studies. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and has therefore been used successfully for osteoarthritis and arthritis for years. The substance also reduces the risk of lung metastases in breast cancer patients. In a new study, curcumin has once again proven its abilities and also inhibited the formation of metastases in prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer: One in six men
Cancer continues to be the second leading cause of death in America and Western Europe. According to recent estimates, prostate cancer in particular will affect every sixth man in the future.
However, most people with cancer do not die from the original tumor, but from the consequences of metastasis formation, i.e. when the tumor multiplies and secondary tumors develop in other regions of the body.
Curcumin against metastasis
Prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly. Furthermore, as long as metastases do not occur, it can often be brought under control very well with a change in diet to a healthy diet and a change in lifestyle.
In addition, supportive natural extracts can be used, which have been proven to be effective in preventing the division and multiplication of cancer cells – and thus the progression of this disease (e.g. sulforaphane). One of the most promising substances is certainly the already mentioned curcumin.
It is an anti-inflammatory bioactive extract from turmeric, the yellow root that gives the well-known curry spice its typical color.
Curcumin in prostate and breast cancer
A research team from Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University has now published the results of a study in the specialist journal Carcinogenesis, according to which curcumin can inhibit the development of metastases in prostate cancer.
In previous studies, the lead researcher, Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier has already been able to show that curcumin can significantly reduce the occurrence of lung cancer metastases in breast cancer patients.
Therefore, the scientist has now devoted herself to a new study with the aim of finding out whether men who have had prostate cancer could also derive a similar benefit from the use of curcumin.
In the case of prostate cancer, it is essential to prevent metastasis
After all, prostate cancer is one of the most common malignant cancers in the western world and is often only recognized after metastases have formed in other organs. But that can be fatal.
While nearly 100 percent of all prostate cancer patients are alive five years after diagnosis if the cancer is confined to the prostate, only 30 percent of patients are alive five years after diagnosis if cancer has already metastasized.
The prevention of metastases is here – as in almost all types of cancer – of outstanding importance.
Curcumin prevents the release of metastasis-promoting messenger substances
With the help of said study, the team around Dr. Bachmeier is now investigating whether and how curcumin can actually be effective in preventing prostate cancer metastases.
Both prostate and breast cancer are associated with latent (asymptomatic and therefore unnoticed) inflammatory processes. This is because the cancer cells can release inflammatory messengers (cytokines). These are the cytokines CXCL 1 and CXCL 2. As a result, the concentration of both cytokines in the blood increases over the course of both types of cancer.
But why do cancer cells produce these cytokines? They make it easier for cancer to form metastases.
The study team has now found that curcumin can inhibit the release of the two destructive cytokines and thus directly prevent metastasis formation. dr Bachmeier concluded the following from the results of her previous studies:
Due to the effect of curcumin, the tumor cells synthesize smaller amounts of cytokines, which promote metastasis formation. As a result, the development of lung metastases in both breast and prostate carcinoma was statistically significantly inhibited.
Curcumin is also for cancer prevention
Although this German study was carried out on mice, it nevertheless impressively demonstrates how important natural substances such as curcumin can be in preventing, developing, and spreading prostate and breast cancer.
The authors of the study state that up to eight grams of curcumin taken as a daily supplement is completely safe. Most nutrition experts recommend standard daily dosages between 400 and 800 mg to effectively protect against cancer and metastasis formation.
Curcumin preparations with a 1% admixture of piperine, the main alkaloid from black pepper, are particularly beneficial. Piperine can increase the effect of curcumin many times over.