DALLAS. (KFSN) -- We've all heard about natural remedies, not approved by the FDA, which have been around for centuries. In many cases, there hasn't been enough scientific research done to prove the claims. That may be changing. One spice currently being studied for its preventative qualities is a key ingredient found in Indian food.
By day, Ajay Goel, PhD, Director of Gastrointestinal Research and Cancer Prevention at Baylor Scott & White Health, is a scientist, trying to unlock genetic codes to prevent cancer. By night, he's passionate about cooking Indian food, specifically curcumin, the anti-inflammatory medicine that is found in turmeric, the yellow spice used in most Indian food.
Goel told Ivanhoe, "Colon cancer is ten to 15 times lower in India compared to the U.S. Lung cancer is about seven to eight fold lower in India compared to the U.S. Breast cancer is five to ten times lower in India compared to the U.S." (Read Full Interview)
Goel and his family enjoy traditional Indian cooking. Three meals a day, spiced with turmeric. There's now a volume of scientific evidence showing that curcumin is a safe, and powerful anti-inflammatory.
"What we were missing at that time, we didn't have the science behind it, we just knew that somebody took this and felt better," detailed Goel.
In a recent study, Goel examined a combination of extracts from turmeric and frankincense, and looked at the impact on colon cancer. In animal tests, the extracts impacted tumor growth by the second day. JaNeene Jones, RN took ibuprofen for a bad back. After seeing an integrative medicine physician, she started on curcumin capsules daily to reduce inflammation.
Jones told Ivanhoe, "I tried it and it worked. There was nothing else I changed. No other variables whatsoever."
Goel explained, "It's a passion for me and I feel privileged in a sense that I can see the science and I can see the anecdotal evidence, and I can see the limitations. I can see the positive things."
Possible cancer prevention, someday, on a plate.
A previous study by Professor Goel found that taking curcumin while undergoing chemotherapy increased the effectiveness of the treatment. If you are shopping for supplements and want the full benefit of curcumin, buy curcumin capsules, not turmeric. Remember turmeric is the spice, curcumin is the medicine.