New study shows turmeric kills multiple myeloma cells

New study shows turmeric kills multiple myeloma cells

  • We have seen how turmeric, often called the “Indian solid gold” is a superstar spice when it comes to its healing powers.
  • Turmeric is one the most researched plants in the world.  Its medicinal properties have been the subject of over 6000 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.
  • It is armed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which fight diseases like Alzheimer’s and common cancer.
  • New research shows that turmeric may even Kill multiple myeloma cells.
  • Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which is a type of white blood cell in our bone marrow. These plasma cells synthesize proteins called antibodies to aid in fighting infections. “In multiple myeloma, a group of plasma cells (myeloma cells) becomes cancerous and multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. Since these cells normally make proteins (antibodies), the level of abnormal proteins in your blood also may go up,” Mayo Clinic explains.
  • This study conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center (VCU) found that turmeric, when combined with the anti-nausea drug thalidomide was able to kill multiple myeloma cells.
  • Shijun Zhang, an assistant professor at VCU, and his team made the discovery while conducting experiments to create a more potent medicine with turmeric. Thalidomide was used in the 1950’s as a nausea medication until it was shown to cause birth defects and banned. It was reintroduced as a treatment for multiple myeloma.
  • Though it is a controversial drug, there are components in thalidomide that increase the potency of turmeric. By combining these ingredients to create a single substance, they were able to create hybrid turmeric that may be very useful for cancer treatment.
  • “Although thalidomide disturbs the micro-environment of tumor cells in bone marrow, it disintegrates in the body. Curcumin, also active against cancers, is limited by its poor water solubility. But the combination of thalidomide and curcumin in the hybrid molecules enhances both the cytotoxicity and solubility,” said Zhang.
  • This study not only created a more potent form of turmeric, but it may revolutionize a method for creating more “hybrid” compounds to fight diseases. Dr. Steve Grant, another one of the researchers had this to say, “Overall, the combination of the spice and the drug was significantly more potent than either individually, suggesting that this hybrid strategy in drug design could lead to novel compounds with improved biological activities. Enhanced potency, reduced risk of developing drug resistance, improved pharmacokinetic properties, reduced cost and improved patient compliance are just a few of those advantages.”
  • Dr. Grant concluded, “The results … strongly encourage further optimization of compounds 5 and 7 to develop more portent agents as treatment options for multiple myeloma.”
  • As always: Check with your health practitioner before you change your diet and see if this is right for you. This drink is not meant to replace any treatment or drugs you are taking. It may also interfere with prescribed medications.

  • For the health benefits of turmeric.
  • For a turmeric milk recipe.
  • Lose weight with turmeric. 
  • For a salad dressing recipe with turmeric. 

    1. “Design and Biological Characterization of Hybrid Compounds of Curcumin and Thalidomide for Multiple Myeloma.” RSC Publishing. RSC Publishing, 11 June 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
    2. “Ingredient in Common Kitchen Spice Turmeric When Combined with Anti-nausea Medication Thalidomide Effectively Kills Cancer Cells.” Massey News. Massey News, 20 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
    3. Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Multiple Myeloma.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

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