4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia

The multiple health benefits of lutein, lycopene, beta carotene, zeaxanthin – a definitive report

4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CAROTENOIDS AT A GLANCE

The four key carotenoids are lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and beta carotene.

♦ LUTEIN and ZEAXANTHIN can significantly cut the risk of vision loss through macular degeneration
♦ LUTEIN is linked to reduced cancer risk
♦ LYCOPENE is shown to inhibit the growth of both prostate and breast cancer cells
♦ LYCOPENE can reduce blood pressure in hypertensives
♦ Long term supplementation with LYCOPENE is linked to better maintained cognitive function
♦ LYCOPENE helps keep lungs functioning healthily


Carotenoids are the pigments that give vegetables and fruits their red, yellow or orange colour. There are many carotenoids, but the best studied and most protective are beta carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin (pronounced pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin)

According to the US Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

“Carotenoids act as anti-oxidants with strong cancer-fighting properties. Anti-oxidants protect cells from free radicals, substances that work to destroy cell membranes and DNA.

“Studies have also suggested that carotenoids may help prevent skin, breast, and prostate cancer. Some carotenoids are also converted to vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy vision and cell growth.”

The Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Boston’s Tufts University is equally positive:

“Dietary carotenoids are thought to provide health benefits in decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease.

“Lutein and zeaxanthin may be protective in eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light that enters the eye.”

A large-scale study called The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) found a very clear reduction from the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration when lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and zinc were combined in a supplement.  It did not, however, find that this combination reduced the risk of cataracts.

The Linus Pauling Institute based at Oregon State University notes that cooking – especially when it involves some fats – helps release plant carotenoids for better bio-availability. They also confirm that:

“… because they do not need to be released from the plant matrix, carotenoid  supplements  (with oil) are more efficiently absorbed than carotenoids in food.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin – proven vision benefits

The condition called macular degeneration is the leading cause of loss of vision. And because it occurs most often after the age of 60, it’s usually referred to as Age related Macular Degeneration – or AMD.

The AREDS studies confirm AMD risk reduction with supplements

Two studies confirm that the risk of AMD can be cut substantially through taking supplements. They are called AREDS 1 and 2.

AREDS stands for Age Related Eye Disease Study. Both studies were conducted by the National Eye Institute – a part of the US Government’s National Institutes of Health.

AREDS1 reported in 2001 and since the results were good, it was followed by AREDS2, which started in 2006 and ran 5 years. Its purpose was to see if an improved nutritional formula would work even better.

The supplements the studies used are both high anti-oxidant formulae. They included the carotenoids lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin, plus high dose vitamin C and a small number of selected minerals.

The results of AREDS 2 showed long lasting benefits with a very significant – 32% – lower risk of advanced AMD. More details from https://nutrishield.com/avoid-vision-loss-after-50/

According to the Linus Pauling Institute,

“Dietary lutein and zeaxanthin are selectively taken up into the macula of the eye, where they absorb up to 90% of blue light and help maintain optimal visual function.

“Randomized controlled trials found that lutein and zeaxanthin supplements could improve visual acuity and slow the progression to advanced AMD in subjects with AMD.”

Researchers at Harvard University have separately found that supplementing with 6 milligrams daily of lutein can lower the risk for macular degeneration by an average of 43 percent.

The latest AREDS study recommends:

  • 500mg of vitamin C
  • 10mg of lutein
  • 2mg zeaxanthin
  • 80mg zinc and
  • 400IU of vitamin E.

Other research at the Department of Pharmacology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences suggests that combining lutein with lycopene may confer even greater protection against AMD.

Moreover, lycopene may also have the ability to prevent or delay cataracts in a large majority of cases.

Lutein for healthy skin

Carotenoids are also present in the skin. Just as lutein helps to filter the high energy wavelengths of light to prevent vision damage, it can filter this UV light out to help prevent skin damage.

Although the studies were not done on humans, the indications are that lutein can protect against light-induced skin damage and therefore signs of ageing.

Lutein as part of an anti-cancer regime

Foods that are rich in lutein (eg. leafy greens like kale and spinach, egg yolks, kiwi fruits and red grapes) also provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. This combination is known to help fight cancer.

4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

The presence of lutein in leafy greens and kiwi fruits is hidden due to a masking effect from the green chlorophyll over the normal red/yellow/orange colour.

Lycopene against cancer

The health benefits of lycopene go beyond a well-known role in helping reduce the risk of prostate cancer and the proliferation of prostate cancer cells – they also include a reduced risk of neurological disorders.

Lycopene is a carotenoid and the red pigment found in tomatoes, but also pink grapefruit and papaya. Lycopene is a powerful anti-oxidant which plants produce to protect themselves from solar radiation – and when we eat plants or take a lycopene supplement, we inherit that anti-oxidant protection.

4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth studied lycopene’s ability to slow the growth of breast and prostate cancer. They reported in 2016:

“Lycopene significantly inhibited prostate and breast cancer cell growth.”

Lycopene achieved this by interrupting signal pathways that would normally cause the tumours to grow and proliferate.

Another 2016 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed up over 46,000 health professional men over a 23 year-long period.  It showed a significant correlation between high lycopene intake and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. They noted that the consumption of tomato sauce played a role in the process.

Yet another (animal) study shows that lycopene inhibits the growth of renal cell carcinoma, which accounts for 80-85% of malignant kidney tumours.

Lycopene supplements have also been found to speed recovery from HPV infection, a significant cause of uterine cancer.

Lycopene on its own would certainly not constitute the most effective anti-cancer strategy. But combined with other nutrients like lutein, curcumin, green tea, grapeseed extracts and soy isoflavones – together with immune support vitamins A, C, D and E and selenium and zinc and you have a really powerful anti-cancer combination.

Lycopene and brain health

A 2015 report in the journal Neuroscience Letters states that:

“Growing evidence suggests concentration of lycopene was reduced in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Lycopene has been identified as an antioxidant to attenuate oxidative damage and has a neuroprotective role in several AD models.”

They found that lycopene could down regulate a precursor to the sticky beta amyloid plaques that characterise Alzheimer’s and concluded that: “… increasing lycopene in neurons may be a novel approach to attenuate onset and development of AD.”

In patients who have already developed neurological problems, lycopene has been shown to counteract future cell damage and death in the brain by protecting the mitochondria.

Lycopene in combination against Alzheimer’s – the MIND Diet

As with AMD or cancer, or indeed any health threat, no one nutrient is going to provide a comprehensive defence against Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, lycopene along with Omega 3, curcumin and flavonoids like bilberry extract, grapeseed extract and betaine can all contribute as part of a supplement combination.

The most promising foods to prevent Alzheimer’s comprise the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet). The MIND diet was developed by researchers at Rush University as a hybrid of a typical Mediterranean diet and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), designed to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

The MIND diet includes tomatoes and also berries, leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine and avoids foods high in saturated fats such as red meats, butter, cheese, pastries and fast food.

People who closely followed the MIND diet had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Lycopene to lower blood pressure

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database indicates that taking a lycopene supplement daily for 8 weeks seems to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, it did not lower blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension.

Lycopene to help male fertility

Early research also shows that taking lycopene daily for 3 months improves sperm quality in some men with fertility problems – although the mechanism isn’t clear.

Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is the orange anti-oxidant carotenoid found in foods like pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and apricots. It is also in leafy green vegetables like spinach but the chlorophyll in the leaves hides the orange colour (as with lutein).

4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, vision, and immune system. Active vitamin A is called retinol and is used directly by the body. Beta carotene is called pro-vitamin A and gets converted in the body to vitamin A as needed. Whereas excess intake of vitamin A can be toxic, beta carotene is only converted as needed by the body to vitamin A.

Beta carotene slows cognitive decline

A long-term study in Archives of Internal Medicine by researchers at the Harvard Medical School showed that 4,050 men who had taken a beta carotene supplement for 15 years or more were significantly less likely to suffer from cognitive decline.

Why? The researchers concluded that since oxidative stress and therefore free radical damage to neurons are important contributory factors in the development of mental decline, it was the anti-oxidant function of beta carotene that was the mechanism.

Beta carotene keeps lungs healthy

The British Medical Journal published a report in March 2006 which showed that high blood beta carotene levels (and vitamin C) compensate for some of the damage to the lungs caused by oxygen free radicals. This was true for smokers and ex-smokers and may also apply to people exposed to city air pollution.

They found that those with high beta carotene levels had much slower decline in lung capacity. A further study – also in the BMJ – concluded that:

“These results strongly suggest that β-carotene protects against decline in (lung function) over an 8 year period in the general population, and that β-carotene and vitamin E are protective in heavy smokers”.

This last observation is interesting because another study concluded that beta carotene supplementation could actually increase cancer risk in smokers – but not non-smokers.

Once again, we need to caution that no one nutrient will make much difference to disease risk reduction. It’s the combination of a range of nutrients and at optimum levels that makes a real difference in long term health.

Beta carotene is clearly a powerful anti-oxidant and helps prevent DNA damage – but so are vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and the plant nutrients called polyphenols in bilberry, green tea and grapeseed.

The carotenoids lutein, lycopene, beta carotene, zeaxanthin, alpha carotene and cryptoxanthin, plus over 35 other nutrients, are all included in NutriShield Premium, a supplement designed by Dr Paul Clayton former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.

 


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily headline health tweets.


4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals And register now for a free regular e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive health4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients including polyphenols and flavonoids from fruits, vegetables and other plants like turmeric. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.

A free summary report and the opportunity to read the book online is available here.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. 4 carotenoids help protect you from cancer, eye disease and dementia NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


REFERENCES

The role of carotenoids in human health. Johnson EJ. Pub Med 2002 Mar-Apr;5(2):56-65.

AREDS2 Research Group. “Lutein/Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA, published online May 5, 2013.

Retinoid chemoprevention in patients at high risk for skin cancer: DiGiovanna JJ. Med Pediatr Oncol. 2001;36:564-567.

Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Olaf Sommerburg, Jan E E Keunen, Alan C Bird,  Frederik J G M van Kuijk; British Journal of Opthalmology

Dietary carotenoids and vitamins A, C, and E and risk of breast cancer. Zhang S, Hunger DJ, Forman MR, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999;91:547-556.

Beta-carotene supplementation for patients with low baseline levels and decreased risks of total and prostate carcinoma. Cook N, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, et al.  Cancer. 1999;86:1783-1792.

Lycopene attenuates oxidative stress induced experimental cataract development: an in vitro and in vivo study.Gupta SK, Trivedi D, Srivastava S, Joshi S, Halder N, Verma SD; Nutrition. 2003 Sep;19(9):794-9.

Lycopene acts through inhibition of IκB kinase to suppress NF-κB signaling in human prostate and breast cancer cells. Assar EA, Vidalle MC, Chopra M, Hafizi S. Tumour Biol. 2016 Jul;37(7):9375-85. doi: 10.1007/s13277-016-4798-3. Epub 2016 Jan 16.

Dietary lycopene intake and risk of prostate cancer defined by ERG protein expression. Graff RE, Pettersson A, et al: Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):851-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.118703. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Lycopene in the prevention of renal cell cancer in the TSC2 mutant Eker rat model. Sahin K, Cross B, et al: Arch Biochem Biophys. 2015 Apr 15;572:36-39. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Jan 17.

Lycopene attenuates Aβ1-42 secretion and its toxicity in human cell and Caenorhabditis elegans models of Alzheimer disease. Chen W, Mao L et al , Neurosci Lett. 2015 Nov 3;608:28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.10.009. Epub 2015 Oct 28

Lycopene Prevents Amyloid [Beta]-Induced Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress and Dysfunctions in Cultured Rat Cortical Neurons. Qu M, Jiang Z, Liao Y, Song Z, Nan X:  Neurochem Res. 2016 Jun;41(6):1354-64. doi: 10.1007/s11064-016-1837-9. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

A randomized trial of beta carotene supplementation and cognitive function in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II.Grodstein F1, Kang JH, Glynn RJ, Cook NR, Gaziano JM. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Nov 12;167(20):2184-90.

Effects of dietary antioxidant vitamins on lung functions according to gender and smoking status in Korea: a population-based cross-sectional study. Ji Young Hong et al. Respiratory Medicine

7 health positives for curcumin

Curcumin is one of the safest and most powerful bioactive plant compounds

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

 


DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CURCUMIN AT A GLANCE

Curcumin is a remarkable nutrient. Clinical evidence shows that:

♦ CURCUMIN is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
♦ CURCUMIN can be as effective as Prozac in lifting depression
♦ CURCUMIN contributes to heart health by supporting free flowing arteries. It may be as effective as statins for dealing with atheroma.
♦ CURCUMIN appears to have several roles in an anti-cancer regime
♦ CURCUMIN improves mobility and reduces joint pain in arthritis sufferers


It has many proven medical benefits for brain, heart, joint health and even cancer risk reduction.

Curcumin is both anti-inflammatory and a powerful anti-oxidant. Derived from the bright yellow root of turmeric, curcumin has only one disadvantage – it is not well absorbed into the bloodstream by itself.

But its bioavailability is enhanced by an astonishing 2,000% when it is ingested along with piperine which is, itself, derived from black pepper. And yet further enhanced in the presence of an oil because it is fat soluble – which is why the combination with Omega 3 in NutriShield is ideal.

Look for curcumin in supplements that is ‘standardised’ as an extract at a level of 95%, as this obviously means it has very high levels of the bioactive compound.

7 Positives for Health

1. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsCurcumin has been found to block the action of a strongly pro-inflammatory molecule called NF–kB. This switches on genes that lead to inflammation. It has also been shown to lower levels of a key marker of inflammation called CRP – C-Reactive Protein.

2. Curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsCurcumin’s anti-oxidant action can slow or stop the chain reactions involved in free radical damage.

 

3. Curcumin protects the brain

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsOver and above its anti-oxidant effect as a brain neuron protector, curcumin may have another brain health role.

Studies show that curcumin can increase levels of BNDF, a hormone that is responsible for youthful brain function, and this may delay age-related brain deterioration.

4. Curcumin improves heart health by reversing the hardening and narrowing of arteries

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe endothelium is the normally smooth lining of your blood vessels including your arteries. It helps regulate blood pressure and blood clotting and is involved in the inflammatory response. “Endothelial dysfunction” is a cause of atheroma – the dangerous narrowing and eventual hardening of the arteries.

But atheroma and endothelial dysfunction are reversible – and an 8 week study showed that curcumin was as effective as the commonly prescribed statin, atorvastatin.

5. Curcumin can ease pain and increase mobility in arthritis

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsStudies show that it inhibits a pain enzyme called Cox-2 – a mode of action rather like NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).

But the advantage of curcumin is that it is natural with no side effects.  Over 20 studies confirm that it supports joint mobility and pain relief.

6. Curcumin has multiple roles in combating cancer

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsA significant number of studies show that curcumin exerts what one researcher calls “multiple different suppressive effects on human cancers including breast cancer.”

The effects include inhibiting blood supplies to tumours, slowing their spread and even initiating the death of cancer cells.

7. Curcumin can slow ageing by preventing the shortening of telomeres

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsTelomeres are the protective little caps at the end of double-stranded molecules of DNA. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. Once they get too short, the cell can no longer divide, and it becomes inactive and dies. The shortening of telomeres is a known marker of ageing.

Curcumin has been shown in several studies to prevent the shortening of telomeres.

Supplement with curcumin

Read more detail about the health benefits of curcumin below. There’s no question you’ll want to include it in your daily supplement regime.

There are 250mg of 95% Curcuminoid extract in every daypack of NutriShield Essentials and NutriShield Premium, supplements designed by Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.


More on all these health benefits of curcumin

7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Anti-inflammatory

The latest medical evidence is clear – chronic (ie. continuous) inflammation within tissues and cells is a key driver of almost every degenerative disease.

Inflammation is certainly a factor in heart disease, in metabolic syndrome, in Alzheimer’s, in obesity and diabetes, in arthritis and in certain cancers which start from sites of inflammation and makes the spread of cancer more likely.

So anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients should be in the front-line of your preventative health strategy.

Curcumin has been found to block the action of a strongly pro-inflammatory molecule called NF–kB. This switches on genes that lead to inflammation. It has also been shown to lower levels of a key marker of inflammation called CRP or C-Reactive Protein.

Anti-oxidant

Oxidative damage occurs when our bodies metabolise oxygen and create energy. So some oxidation is inevitable. But the process also creates free radicals which react with and damage cells, DNA, mitochondria and fatty acids in the body.

If the body has excess free radicals and insufficient anti-oxidants to neutralise those free radicals, then oxidative damage occurs.

In everyday life, oxidative or free radical damage is the process by which fat goes rancid and apples turn brown.

In the body, oxidative damage manifests itself eventually as:

  • Fatigue and premature ageing (via damage to mitochondria – the cell “energy factories”)
  • Wrinkled skin
  • A trigger for cancer (via damage to DNA)
  • Brain ageing and neurogenerative disease such as senile dementia (via damage to neurons)
  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of arteries)
  • Degenerative eye disease – since the eye is an organ with intense oxidative activity and needs high levels of anti-oxidants to protect its unsaturated fatty acids.

An anti-oxidant can slow or stop the chain reactions involved in free radical damage.

As a powerful anti-oxidant, curcumin should definitely be in your supplement, along with at least 500mg of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, beta-carotene and CoQ10. All these, too, are anti-oxidants.

One well referenced study on free radicals and disease summarised the role of anti-oxidants.

The human species is not genetically adapted to survive past middle age, and it appears that anti-oxidant supplementation of our diet is needed to ensure a more healthy elderly population’.

Improves brain function

Over and above its role as an anti-oxidant and brain neuron protector, curcumin may have another brain health role.

A hormone called Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) is responsible for youthful brain function. Unfortunately this normally declines with age and appears to be a factor in depression and reduced cognitive function.  But studies show that curcumin can increase levels of BNDF and thereby may be effective in delaying age-related brain deterioration.

In addition, curcumin (so far only in laboratory tests) has been shown to be able to pass into the brain and help increase the clearance of the beta amyloid plaque cells that characterise Alzheimer’s patients’ brains.

One of the symptoms of inflammation in the brain is what is commonly called ‘brain fog’ – poorer concentration, mood malaise and memory impairment.

The Journal of Psychopharmacology, reporting on a curcumin study on healthy older adults, stated that:

‘One hour after administration, curcumin significantly improved performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks, compared with placebo. Working memory and mood (general fatigue and change in state calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress) were significantly better.’

In another 6-week study, published in the US National Library of Medicine, curcumin at 1,000 mg a day was found to be as effective as the anti-depressant Prozac in reducing symptoms of depression, but better tolerated.

Improves heart health

The endothelium is the normally smooth lining of your blood vessels including your arteries. It helps regulate your blood pressure, and blood clotting and is involved in the inflammatory response. What’s called endothelial dysfunction is a cause of atheroma – the dangerous narrowing and eventual hardening of the arteries.

But atheroma and endothelial dysfunction are reversible – and an 8 week study showed that curcumin was as effective as the commonly prescribed statin, atorvastatin.

This specific function of curcumin amplifies the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin on heart health.

A presenter at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Annual Conference, in announcing his study results, was reported to say that:

“… curcumin supports clean, free-flowing arteries. Patients taking this pill saw 26% of gunk unclogged from their arteries.”

Although the words are hardly couched in the normal dry scientific language, it does capture the huge interest that health researchers now have in curcumin. In fact, one article claims that curcumin may have over 500 health benefits. That seems exaggerated, but the benefits on this page are well documented.

Alleviates the symptoms of arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease – as are all diseases ending in ‘-itis’.

So you would expect that curcumin could have a role in any natural arthritis treatment – and it does. Studies show that it inhibits a pain enzyme called Cox-2 – a mode of action rather like NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). But the advantage of curcumin is that it is natural with no side effects.  Over 20 studies confirm that it supports joint mobility and pain relief.

One summary study in the Journal of Alternative Medicine Review reported:

‘People taking curcumin saw pain scores drop by 60% … and stiffness scores drop by 73%.

But if you were taking curcumin as a supplement in a case of arthritis, you would ideally add Glucosamine, and co-factor vitamins D and K – as in JointShield.

Curcumin/turmeric can also be used topically to treat strains and muscle aches. Mix to a paste with a little olive oil and apply like an ointment.

Multiple roles in cancer risk reduction

For cancer to grow and form a tumour, it must develop a supply of blood vessels – a process called angiogenesis. That in turn supports metastasis or the spread on cancer cells.

A significant number of peer reviewed studies show that curcumin exerts what one researcher calls “multiple different suppressive effects on human cancers including breast cancer.”

The effects include inhibiting blood supplies to tumours, the slowing of spread and even the initiation of the death of cancer cells.

To date most of these studies have been animal studies or done on human cells in the laboratory. But a study in the Journal of Cell Biochemistry was able to state:

‘We conclude that telomerase inhibitory effects of curcumin underscore its use in adjuvant cancer therapy.’

We do know that many health researchers are using curcumin themselves.

Curcumin could be part of an anti-ageing programme

The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin make it a candidate for a scientifically based approach to slowing ageing, because both inflammation and oxidative damage are deeply involved in ageing.

There is another effect noted in the study quoted above. Curcumin can prevent the shortening of telomeres.

Telomeres are the protective little caps at the end of double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. Once they get too short, the cell can no longer divide, and it becomes inactive and dies. The shortening of telomeres is a known marker of ageing.

So it’s hypothesised that slowing or preventing the shortening of telomeres can slow biological ageing. Omega 3 and vitamin D are other natural nutrients that have been shown to help slow telomere shortening, as have weight loss and regular exercise.

Summary

If you are a nutritional supplement user, then curcumin should be in your supplement.

But so should plant derived micro-nutrients like green tea and grapeseed extract and Omega 3. And if you are over 50 when the body needs more nutrients but absorbs less, then add at least carotenoids like lutein, lycopene and beta carotene and CoQ10.

They all have solid scientific backing as helping to prevent long-term health problems whilst  contributing to noticeably improved short term energy and ‘feel-good’ status.

They are all included in NutriShield, a supplement designed by Dr Paul Clayton former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.

 


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily headline health tweets.


7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals And register now for a free regular e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive health7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients including polyphenols and flavonoids from fruits, vegetables and other plants like turmeric. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.

A free summary report and the opportunity to read the book online is available here.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. 7 health positives for curcumin NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


REFERENCES

Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases:Bharat B.Aggarwal, Kuzhuvelil B.Harikumar; The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 40-59

Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Shoba G1, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6.

Inflammation in atherosclerosis. Libby P. Nature. 2002 Dec 19-26;420(6917):868-74.

Inflammation and cancer. Coussens LM, Werb Z. Nature. 2002 Dec 19-26;420(6917):860-7.

The Nuclear Factor NF-κB Pathway in Inflammation; Toby Lawrence; Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2009 Dec; 1(6): a001651.

Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). Chainani-Wu N.  J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Feb;9(1):161-8.

The role of free radicals in disease. Florence TM. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1995 Feb;23(1):3-7.

The role of mitochondrial DNA mutations and free radicals in disease and ageing. Lagouge M, Larsson NG. J Intern Med. 2013 Jun;273(6):529-43. doi: 10.1111/joim.12055. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor. Devin K Binder and Helen E Scharfman; Growth Factors. 2004 Sep; 22(3): 123–131.

Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB; Behavioural Brain Research Volume 239, 15 February 2013, Pages 27-30

Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Zhang L, Fiala M, Cashman J, Sayre J, Espinosa A, Mahanian M, Zaghi J, Badmaev V, Graves MC, Bernard G, Rosenthal M. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Sep;10(1):1-7.

Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population; Katherine HM Cox et al, Journal of Phschpharmacology

Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Sanmukhani J, et al: Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

Effect of NCB-02, atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, 8-week study. Usharani P, Mateen AA, Naidu MU, Raju YS, Chandra N. Drugs R D. 2008;9(4):243-50.

Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively? Jayaraj Ravindran, Sahdeo Prasad, and Bharat B. Aggarwal AAPS J. 2009 Sep; 11(3): 495–510.

Curcumin inhibits proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis of different cancers through interaction with multiple cell signalling proteins. Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara, Preetha Anand, Bharat B. Aggarwal. Cancer Letters October 8, 2008. Volume 269, Issue 2, Pages 199–225

Curcumin exerts multiple suppressive effects on human breast carcinoma cells; Zhi‐Ming Shao et al; International Journal of Cancer Volume 98, Issue 2

Curcumin inhibits telomerase and induces telomere shortening and apoptosis in brain tumour cells. Khaw AK, Hande MP, Kalthur G, Hande MP.; J Cell Biochem. 2013 Jun;114(6):1257-70. doi: 10.1002/jcb.24466.