A combination of extracts from two well-known spices — turmeric and frankincense — work together to prevent colon cancer. A study at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas found that the combination was so powerful that it began influencing tumor growth as early as the second day of administration. The combo even fights cancer in people who have a mutation in a gene that makes their cancer unresponsive to common types of chemotherapy.
Turmeric is used to flavor traditional Indian dishes. Its active component is curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory that gives the spice its bright yellow color. In the Baylor study, researchers used a combination of curcumin and boswellia. Boswellia is better known as frankincense, and has been used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory.
"We've known for a while that curcumin and boswellia are powerful anti-inflammatories and have potent anti-cancer properties," says study author Ajay Goel, Director of Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention, and Geonomics at Baylor. "They are both powerful natural medicines, and both have the ability to reduce inflammation," he tells Newsmax Health.
"I decided to combine the two because I recognized that curcurmin affected certain pathways in cells that reduce inflammation but left other pathways untouched," he said. "I also realized that boswellia reduced inflammation as well, but used different pathways.
"I thought if we combined the two, we might hit even more pathways, and that's what happened.
"Combining the two created synergy," he said. "The two together had a much more powerful anti-inflammatory effect than either compound alone.
A previous study by Dr. Goel found that taking curcumin while undergoing chemotherapy increased its effectiveness. "Most patients on chemotherapy or radiation usually develop resistance to the treatments. But studies have shown that when patients take curcumin with their chemo they escape the resistance and continue to respond to treatment.
"In addition, cancer treatments are very toxic, but combining them with curcumin decreases the side effects. In fact, you can even reduce the dose of chemotherapy by 10 times and still maintain the same effectiveness.
"This is good news," Goel said. "Not only are you reducing toxicity, you reduce the cost of these very expensive drugs. It's a no-brainer."
In addition, the curcumin/boswellia combination worked on cancers that are usually resistant to treatment.
"About 50 percent of people with colon cancer have a mutation in the p53 gene," says Goel. "Cancer drugs that target the p53 gene do not work for these individuals. We examined p53 activity in an animal model and found that even if there is a mutation in this gene, by adding curcumin and boswellia, the cancer became responsive to chemotherapy treatment.
"This could be an incredibly important finding for helping people with this mutation," he said.
Dr. Goel used two specific highly concentrated and absorbable versions of curcumin and boswellia: BCM-95 Curcumin and BosPure. Both can be found at health food stores and ordered over the Internet.
For those with a family history of colon cancer and want to take preventive measures, Goel recommends 500 milligrams to 1 gram of BCM-95 and 250 to 500 milligrams of BosPure daily.
If you're fighting cancer, he suggests doubling or tripling the dose. "It's very safe," he says. "Although I would advise patients to consult with their doctor, these botanicals are extremely safe.
"We have compelling evidence that curcumin and boswelia can prevent cancer," Goel said. "I think this combination may be the Holy Grail for preventing colon cancer. "
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