Despite all the stories you might be hearing about better ways to treat cancer in general, the news about pancreatic cancer remains consistently grim.
This deadly cancer has a one-year survival rate of only 20 percent. And only 8 percent of those with this feared disease will see five years after being diagnosed.
So, when researchers at the highly respected cancer center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas published what very well might be a breakthrough in treating pancreatic cancer, you would think it would make headlines all over the world.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
Perhaps that’s because it isn’t a pricey drug or a Big Pharma breakthrough.
This potential miracle comes from a spicy secret that you may not have pulled out of your cupboard in a while… or ever.
The root of good health
One of the major problems in fighting pancreatic cancer with standard treatments is something called chemoresistance.
While chemo may appear to be doing something at first, pancreatic cancer puts up a protective shield that makes the cancer cells immune to the drugs that should be killing them.
And that brings the treatment for most all pancreatic cancers to a screeching halt.
But in a recent study, curcumin was able to overcome that obstacle like a superhero fighting an evil foe.
“By treating certain cells with small doses of curcumin, we were able to reverse the pathways that lead to chemoresistance,” the lead researcher behind the study, Dr. Ajay Goel, said.
When you realize that curcumin is a compound found in the spice turmeric (what gives it that golden color), that makes this finding truly remarkable!
Dr. Goel and his team recently published their findings on testing curcumin in the laboratory to see if the compound could stop certain pancreatic cancer cells from becoming resistant to gemcitabine, the main chemo drug used to treat this terrible disease.
And it did.
So far, this approach hasn’t been studied in people, but Dr. Goel is very confident that “food-based botanicals” have the ability to do things that drugs simply can’t.
And that’s certainly true of curcumin.
Previous research by Dr. Goel has found that curcumin, combined with the herb boswellia (which comes from the tree that produces frankincense), can give colon cancer the one-two knockout punch!
Dr. Goel said that dynamic duo could be the “Holy Grail for preventing colon cancer.” Not only did this “extremely safe” combo help to prevent the disease, but it was also valuable in helping patients to fight it.
And thousands — yes, thousands! — of other studies have put turmeric root front and center as a safe way to prevent and treat conditions from depression to heart disease to Alzheimer’s. In fact, countries where they use the most turmeric in cooking (like India) have the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s!
So, if you haven’t been inspired to break the turmeric out of the spice rack yet… or if the only time you bring it out is to spice up some curry… why not start using more of it to spice up your meals?
- Add it to stews and soups while cooking. Start out with around a quarter teaspoon and add more to taste.
- Turmeric goes great on rice — and since curcumin is a fat-soluble nutrient, blending it with some butter or coconut oil first will enhance its absorption.
- A delicious nightcap is made from a half-teaspoon of turmeric, honey (to taste), a teaspoon of coconut oil and a serving of milk. Heat the mixture slowly and enjoy before going to bed.
- And if you’re a fan of juicing, turmeric is an incredibly delicious and healthy addition to juices made using carrots, citrus, and cucumbers. If the fresh root isn’t available (you’ll be using a one- to two-inch piece), you can substitute it with up to a teaspoon of organic turmeric powder.
Also, using turmeric along with black pepper will help up its “bioavailability,” meaning you’ll be able to boost the levels of curcumin in your body by simply adding another spice!
And if you don’t do a lot of cooking, you can still get the benefits of curcumin by taking it in supplement form.
“Can curcumin in turmeric fight pancreatic cancer?” Joe Graedon, August 3, 2017, The People’s Pharmacy, peoplespharmacy.com