Curcumin is a powerful dietary polyphenol that can be found in Indian spices such as Turmeric (1). Curcumin has long been studied as a chemoprevention agent due to it’s success in cancer prevention. What makes curcumin so beneficial is that it possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. These are crucial activities that help prevent and even battle cancer (1).
India has one of the lowest rates of Cancer
India is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of turmeric (2). Turmeric is one of the most common spices used in traditional Indian cooking, making it a very common part of their diet. Curcumin is found in turmeric which suggests why their cancer rates are so low. More specifically India has some of the lowest rates for colorectal, prostate, and lung cancers (2). Indian natives who ate Western style diets showed higher rates of cancers, suggesting the importance of turmeric in their diet.
Curcumin battles cancer at the cellular level
Curcumin has the amazing ability to stop carcinogenicity through the modulation of the cell cycle (4). This means that it can prevent and even kill kill cancer cells. “Several research studies have provided in-depth analysis of multiple targets through which curcumin induces protective effects against cancers including gastrointestinal, genitourinary, gynecological, hematological, pulmonary, thymic, brain, breast, and bone” (4). What separates curcumin from other cancer prevention and treatments is that it is virtually harmless to animals and humans, even in high doses (4).
Recommended 500-700mg with black pepper
Although curcumin can be found in turmeric, you would have to eat extremely large quantities to get the beneficial dose. Unless you are eating Indian food daily you are best off getting a natural supplement. But make sure you get a supplement that also contains black pepper! Without the black pepper it’s bioavailability decreases significantly (absorption).
Some of the most popular brands I found that included the black pepper are listed below. One of the highest rated ones I found on Amazon was called Potent Organics Turmeric Curcumin. The capsules are 600mg and contain black pepper for increased absorption. Many reviews also suggest the benefits of joint relief, pain relief, and other benefits besides anti-cancer properties.
Additional Curcumin supplements from Amazon (Highest rated)