Is Turmeric Effective for Preventing Cancer?

Is Turmeric Effective for Preventing Cancer?

 February 26, 2020

A word cloud of the words cancer.

Your older family member might have something in their spice cabinet that could help them to fight cancer, according to a new review published in the journal Nutrients. That substance is turmeric. Turmeric comes from a root that is related to ginger. The root is native to Southeast Asia and India and has been used in cooking for thousands of years.


Turmeric has been touted as a spice that is effective for fighting many conditions. It has also been widely studied as a cancer fighter. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is believed to be what makes it useful for healing. Still, claims regarding the miraculous properties of some foods are little more than hype.

To find out how true the cancer claims about turmeric are, researchers reviewed the existing literature from other studies. The authors of the study said there had been 12,595 research papers on curcumin published between 1924 and 2018. 37 percent of them were about curcumin and cancer. The review showed that the papers focused the most on certain kinds of cancer, including:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Cancers of the blood.
  • Cancers of the digestive system.


After reviewing the previous research concerning curcumin and cancer, the determined that the curcumin found in turmeric may be useful in the treatment of cancer. It might be used alone or with other drugs. However, there is still a long way to go before it is approved as a treatment for cancer.


In addition to the possibility of being effective against cancer, there is evidence that turmeric may have other health benefits. Some of those benefits are:


Fights Inflammation: Research shows that turmeric may be effective in fighting chronic inflammation, which is present in many different conditions.


Manage Depression: The curcumin in turmeric may help to reduce symptoms of depression and could help antidepressants to work better.


Blood Sugar Management: Curcumin has been indicated in keeping blood sugar levels steadier, which makes it useful for people who have diabetes.


Blood Vessel Health: Turmeric helps to keep the lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, healthier. This may reduce the risk of heart disease.


If your older family member is interested in adding more turmeric to their diet, a senior care provider can prepare meals for them that use turmeric. In addition, the older adult can make certain the meals they make are nutritious. If your aging relative needs to follow certain dietary recommendations because of medical conditions, a senior care provider can follow the guidelines set by the doctor or dietician.


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