JUN 25, 2019 11:29 AM PDT

Turmeric Slows Bone Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

Often found in South Asian meals, the spice turmeric comes from a ginger-like plant. Turmeric and its principal ingredient, curcumin, have many beneficial properties beyond culinary use. They possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They have also been shown to build bone and prevent cancers.

"Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory compounds called curcuminoids, and these curcuminoids have been associated with a positive effect on various diseases," Anya Guy, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, said.

A Washington State University research team has now developed a drug delivery system using curcumin that inhibits the growth of bone cancer cells but encourages the growth of healthy bone. They hope their findings will increase the number of post-operative treatment options for people with osteosarcoma, especially children -- this disease is the second most prevalent cause of cancer death in youth.

Turmeric, public domain image

Researchers want to offer “gentler” post-surgery treatment options than chemo.

"I want people to know the beneficial effects of these natural compounds.Natural biomolecules derived from these plant-based products are inexpensive and a safer alternative to synthetic drugs,” Herman and Brita Lindholm Endowed Chair Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering Susmita Bose said.

So that the compound could be absorbed more efficiently (when taken orally, it is metabolized too quickly), the researchers 3D-printed calcium carbonate support structures for the curcumin, “allowing for the gradual release of the chemical,” according to EurekAlert.

Turmeric, public domain image

This system inhibited osteosarcoma cell growth by 96 percent after 11 days (compared to untreated samples). It also promotes healthy bone growth.

This study was published in the journal, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health. This video from the Mayo Clinic further explores the health benefits of turmeric:

 

Sources: EurekAlert, Mayo Clinic

 
About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech and conservation.
You May Also Like
JUL 19, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 19, 2019
Towards an Understanding of, and Potential Treatment for Chemobrain
Chemobrain is a term for the mental problems or brain fog that is associated with chemotherapy treatment....
JUL 19, 2019
Cancer
JUL 19, 2019
A vaccine to protect your pup from cancer
They are our best friends, our constant company, our unconditional loves: our dogs. Though they often pass through our own lives for less time than our hum...
JUL 19, 2019
Cancer
JUL 19, 2019
A Call to Reduce Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery: Doctors Respond to Peer Letters
Skin cancer treatment and surgery options vary widely. Even within one method, patients’ needs and surgeons’ choices differ. A recent stud...
JUL 19, 2019
Cancer
JUL 19, 2019
Additional drug in hormone therapy for breast cancer extends women's lives
The findings from a new clinical trial were presented this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. The trial showed th...
JUL 19, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
JUL 19, 2019
How Dangerous is Radiation?
No one wants to be exposed to an atomic blast, but studies has shown that the fear of low doses of radiation may be overblown....
JUL 19, 2019
Cancer
JUL 19, 2019
Will Light Therapy Edge Out Opioids for Cancer Mouth Pain?
Photobiomodulation therapy, a form of low-dose light therapy, has now been found to be one of the best ways to treat the pain of oral mucositis, the mouth ...
Loading Comments...