July 27, 2015

329 Curcumin & Cancer [27 July 2015]

I first wrote about curcumin, an extract from the spice turmeric, last November [#294] where I discussed its anti-inflammatory effects as being helpful with rheumatoid arthritis pain. I hinted that it was being studied for other purposes including cancer – that is the topic that I wish to explore this week.

Dr. William LaValley practices what he calls “evidence-based molecularly-targeted anti-cancer treatment” in his clinics in Nova Scotia and Texas. This is a common practice in oncology but LaValley is unique in using some natural products in the treatments, including high dose 95% curcumin extract. He learned about curcumin and other botanical extracts from China and combines them with conventional pharmaceuticals in his treatments. Interestingly Dr. LaValley also uses a ketogenic diet in his cancer treatments as cancer cells are very glucose dependent.

LaValley was surprised to find that curcumin, because of the large number of pathways that it affects (more than 100), was effective on almost every type of cancer. Even better, curcumin selectively targets cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unaffected. He also found that curcumin works synergistically with some chemotherapy drugs, enhancing their ability to kill cancer cells.

Curcumin affects cancer in 5 ways:
• Inhibits transformation of normal cells to cancer cells
• Inhibits tumor formation
• Inhibits proliferation of tumor cells
• Inhibits angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels to feed the tumor)
• Promotes apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells

Dr. William LaValley is willing to consult with physicians who wish to incorporate curcumin or other natural therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer patients. Keep in mind that despite the promising histological and animal studies, and LaValley’s extensive clinical experience, there have not yet been (to my knowledge) any controlled trials of curcumin in the treatment of human cancer.

Dr. Mercola - 2014/03/02 article on curcumin and Dr LaValley's work
Mercola interview with Dr. LaValley
Dr. LaValley CV

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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