Natural Compounds From Spices, May Protect Breast Health,
According To New Study.
Compounds found in spices may reduce the risk of breast
cancer formation by stopping the growth of the stem cells
that spawn the tumours, says a new study.
Researchers from the University of Michigan report that curcumin
found in turmeric, and piperine found in black peppers, decreased
the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal
The researchers used doses equivalent to 20 times to potency of
what could be consumed through the diet. These higher potencies
are possible from dietary supplements, noted the researchers.
"If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of
cells with potential to form tumors," they explained. The results of the
study, said to be the first to suggest these dietary compounds could
reduce the risk of cancer by targeting stem cells, are published in
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
According to the American Cancer Society, almost 195,000 new
cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year, and
over 40,000 will die from the disease.
Furthermore, the researchers found that normal, non-cancerous
stem cells were unaffected by the compounds, which appeared to
selectively target the cancer stem cells.
"This shows that these compounds are not toxic to normal breast
tissue; Women at high risk of breast cancer can now choose to
take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene for prevention, but most
women don't take these drugs because there is too much toxicity.
The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and
curcumin and piperine are known have very low toxicity."
Spice-Derived Natual Compounds
Curcumin is a natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its
yellow colour. Recent studies have investigated its potential to lower
cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of
Alzheimer's and diabetes as well as cancer-fighting properties.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Source: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Published online
"Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds
curcumin and piperine"