Why the Buzz about Turmeric?

Why the Buzz about Turmeric?,Narda G. Robinson

Why the Buzz about Turmeric?  
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How It Works Cancer cells employ multiple pathways to evade host defenses, so a drug or plant compound that attacks cancer in heterogeneous ways offers unique advantages, especially when it completes this mission relatively risk-free. In its interaction with several cellular proteins, curcumin antioxidates, induces phase II detoxification enzymes, suppresses tumor cell proliferation in several cancer cell lines, and down-regulates transcription factors (NF-κB, AP-1, Egr-1). It down-regulates enzymes such as cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipo-oxygenase (LOX), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), matrix metalloproteinase 9, urokinase-type plasminogen activator, and more. Curcumin also down-regulates other factors and receptors such as tumor necrosis factor, chemokines, cell surface adhesion molecules, and growth factor receptors (e.g., EGFR, HER2). Curcumin acts antiangiogenically and enhances the cytotoxicity of certain chemotherapy drugs. Curcumin causes cell death in several human cancer cell lines, including breast, lung, prostate, colon, melanoma, kidney, hepatocellular, ovarian, leukemia. The effect curcumin has on cell death involves both the usual apoptotic mechanisms such as oligonucleosomal DNA degradation and alternative means. That is, when resistance develops to apoptosis-inducing factors, curcumin can overcome this impediment through alternative cell-signaling pathways such as mitotic catastrophe. v Mitotic catastrophe involves a morphologically distinct and aberrant mitotic process that distinguishes it from apoptosis, characterized by the formation of giant, multinucleated cells carrying uncondensed chromosomes. Curcumin may also counteract the induction of pro-survival factors in cells generated by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Published in 2008.
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