Can turmeric prevent cancer? Last Tuesday, along with everyone else in Sweden, we watched BBC’s Trust me, I’m a doctor, and the episode “Does turmeric really help protect us from cancer?”. Michael Mosley and the doctors undertake one of their most ambitious projects ever – testing whether turmeric could help protect us against cancer and other diseases, such as depression and allergies.
100 volunteers were divided into three groups. The first group took placebo pills, the second took turmeric as a supplement, and the third group took 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder daily. The project went on for 6 weeks, and the results were fascinating. There was no difference in the methylation of the DNA of the volunteers who took the placebo pills, or those who took the supplement pills. But in the group who were cooking with turmeric powder, the results were striking. On one gene in particular, the researchers saw a dramatic change. The gene is associated with a number of common disorders:
* depression and anxiety
* asthma and eczema
Wow, more turmeric to the people! In our book, as well as in our lectures, we talk about how we can influence gene activation through our lifestyle choices and eating habits. This project is an amazing example of how even a small lifestyle change (cooking with turmeric), can affect our genes and DNA methylation patterns, known to be associated with cancer!