Turmeric as an Immunomodulating Strategy
Curcuma longa (turmeric) has demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating actions. The herb's primary active constituent, curcumin, has a beneficial action on numbers signalling pathways involved in the induction of inflammation, cell cycle apoptosis, proliferation, survival, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis.
NF-kB is a transcription factor that has shown responsiveness to curcumin. Suppression of NF-kB subsequently down-regulates COZ-2 and therefore mediates pro-inflammatory prostaglandins downstream. Inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-alpha, are also reduced.
In cancer, curcumin induces apoptosis (programmed cancer cells death) by downregulating Bcl-2 and upregulating Bax through JNK pathway activation. Furthermore, tyrosine kinases (for example EGFR and VEGF) are key regulators of intracellular signalling and when over-expressed or mutated, contribute to the development and progression of tumours. Evidence-based research demonstrates that curcumin inhibits VEGF receptors.
Very little ingested curcumin is found in the plasma: even eight grams of pure curcumin results in <1 nanogram/mL of curcumin in the blood. Trials at MD Anderson Cancer Centre in United States are demonstrating the blood concentration of 500 nanograms/mL maybe required for the therapeutic effects of curcumin against cancer.
Cancer has a high affinity for biological membranes and rapidly penetrates the gut or liver prior to systemic bioavailability. This is one of the reasons why we recommend a critical extract of turmeric in a liquid form that allows to reach the therapeutic levels (the amount needed) and rapid absorption.
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