Turmeric / anti-cancer drug

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by [email protected], Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Turmeric may be used in anti-cancer drug
    08 February 2004
    The Hindu
    By Bindu Shajan Perappadan

    NEW DELHI: While Pune will host the country's most ambitious clinical
    trials in developing an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome vaccine, in
    the Capital's satellite township of Noida, the Institute of Cytology
    and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) has quietly reached a milestone.

    Looking at the possibility of turmeric being an anti-cancer drug,
    researchers here have probably for the first time hit upon enough
    "proof" to state that what had previously been only speculations is
    indeed a fact.

    The results of the research looking into the possibility of turmeric
    being used as an anti cancer-drug will be released and discussed at the
    upcoming 24th Annual Convention on "Human Papillomavirus and Cervical
    Cancer" hosted by ICPO. This would also give the scientific community
    across the world a chance to take a peek into the infinite
    possibilities that the discovery has thrown up.

    Turmeric is a common ingredient in Indian food and it is the
    "curcumin", an active ingredient of turmeric, that is found to be a
    potent inhibitor of human papillomaviruses (HPV) causing one of the
    most commonly occurring cancers among women in India -- cervical
    cancer.

    While it is known that cervical cancer is caused by the infection of
    specific types of high-risk HPVs types 16 and 18, the Division of
    Molecular Oncology, ICPO, has been able to prove that the active
    ingredient in turmeric can inhibit the action of papillomavirus,
    preventing the expression of cervical cancer.

    "While we aren't sure about the exact mechanism of how turmeric works
    in the body, we are sure about the action and the "preventive" property
    of turmeric. And while the research has been published in an
    international journal, work is now on to investigate the regulatory
    role of a potential anti-oxidative agent curcumin," explained the ICPO
    director, B.C. Das.

    He said that research was on to find out how the active component
    enters the cell and the path it takes to protect the body against the
    cancer causing HPV 16 and 18 virus. "We are sure about the molecular
    property of turmeric and are now looking into the possibility of active
    trial projects for which talks are on. And while we are sure about the
    action of turmeric, we are also looking into the possibility of
    research into neem, tulsi, ginger and amla -- all part of the Indian
    system of medicine about which we have known for the past 3,000 years
    but are only now realising their goodness. Though it might be a while
    before we arrive at information that people can use, we are actively
    looking at `medicinal plants' which can give people healthier lives,"
    said an ICPO official.

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    Tom
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