What occurred when turmeric curcumin was put to the check to see if it might reverse DNA harm brought on by arsenic publicity?
Arsenic is a carcinogenic heavy metallic, and the key mechanism of arsenic-related harm seems to be oxidative stress. It’s the arsenic-induced accumulation of free radicals that may kill off cells and harm our DNA, and the double whammy is that it could additionally disrupt our physique’s skill to restore our DNA as soon as it’s broken. Well, if the harm is oxidation, what about eating antioxidant-rich meals, such because the spice turmeric, which incorporates an antioxidant pigment often called curcumin. I look at this in my video Benefits of Turmeric for Arsenic Exposure.
As anybody accustomed to my movies can attest, “numerous clinical studies have suggested that curcumin has therapeutic efficacy against a variety of human diseases,” together with most cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and inflammatory bowel, joint, lung, pores and skin, and eye ailments.
In phrases of safety towards heavy metals, research counsel turmeric could assist scavenge free radicals, in addition to chelate, or bind up, heavy metals. But it’s all simply principle, till you set it to the check. Until just lately, all we had was analysis finding out whether or not curcumin can protect towards heavy metal-induced oxidation in puréed rat brains, for instance. Why can’t you simply give some turmeric to individuals? It’s not like there aren’t thousands and thousands of individuals on the market who’ve been exposed to arsenic and will use some assist.
Indeed, in what turned the best chemical catastrophe in human historical past, “tube-wells” have been put in in Bangladesh to offer clear water. UNICEF meant properly—too unhealthy they didn’t check the water for arsenic. People began displaying up with lesions on their toes, as you may see at 1:52 in my video, and as many as one in ten individuals in some components of the nation will now go on to die from cancers brought on by the arsenic publicity. This catastrophe allowed the medical neighborhood to document all kinds of “interesting” cancers, however why not give them one thing that will assist, like turmeric curcumin?
Researchers did simply that. After they determined the extent of DNA harm in examine topics, half have been randomly chosen and prescribed curcumin capsules blended with a bit of black pepper compound, whereas the opposite half got a placebo. As you may see at 2:25 in my video, earlier than the examine began, the quantity of DNA harm found within the curcumin and placebo teams of arsenic-exposed people was larger than the DNA harm present in a management group of people not uncovered to arsenic, which remained the identical all through the examine. The researchers wished to determine a baseline within the arsenic-exposed teams, in order that they waited for three months earlier than beginning the examine. And, certainly, the DNA harm remained secure throughout that point. Then, for three months, they proceeded to provide the teams the curcumin or the placebo. The placebo didn’t do a lot, however inside the first month, the researchers might see the curcumin working. And, by the third month, the DNA harm within the curcumin-treated arsenic group was no worse than in those that hadn’t been uncovered to arsenic in any respect. Amazing! “The comparison of the populations receiving curcumin and placebo established that curcumin had an effective role in regression of DNA damage and as an excellent antioxidant agent,” and what they discovered subsequently is that the curcumin undid the arsenic crippling of our DNA restore enzymes—each serving to to stop the harm and facilitating its restore. “Thus, curcumin intervention may be a useful modality for the prevention of arsenic-induced carcinogenesis [cancer development].”
Of course, you need to be certain that the turmeric itself isn’t contaminated with heavy metals. Nearly 1 / 4 of spices purchased in Boston had lead in them, and it’s not only a matter of shopping for U.S. versus overseas manufacturers, because the distinction in lead ranges was not discovered to be statistically important, as you may see at 3:52 in my video.
What about simply consuming antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies? The motive we care about DNA harm is that we care about most cancers. What in case you measured the beta-carotene ranges in individuals uncovered to arsenic who went on to develop most cancers, in comparison with those that received uncovered to the identical quantity of arsenic however didn’t get most cancers? Beta-carotene is sort of a proxy for wholesome fruit and vegetable consumption. The manner you get excessive ranges in your blood is by consuming tons of wholesome meals, like greens and candy potatoes. Compared to these with low ranges of beta-carotene of their blood, these with excessive ranges had 99 % decrease odds of getting arsenic-induced most cancers, as you may see at 4:34 in my video. So, in case you’re going to eat rice, why not have some rice with some candy potatoes on high?
What’s the rice connection? I produced a 13-part sequence on arsenic in rice. Air-pop some popcorn, sit again, and revel in:
What else can turmeric do? Glad you requested!
Who Shouldn’t Consume Curcumin or Turmeric? Watch the video to search out out!
In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.
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