I used to take turmeric aka curcumin but it seemed to irritate my chronic gall bladder condition. It is supposed to work on COX-2 inflammation area. Its also supposed to interfere with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) to some extent,probably small. The American Cancer Society has this to say about
What is the evidence?
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that can protect the body’s cells from damage caused by activated oxygen molecules known as free radicals. Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth, and spread.
Recently, curcumin has received a great deal more attention in studies than turmeric as a whole herb. Researchers are studying curcumin to learn whether it is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and whether it holds any promise for cancer prevention or treatment. A number of studies of curcumin have shown promising results. Curcumin can kill cancer cells in laboratory dishes and also reduces growth of surviving cells. Curcumin also has been found to reduce development of several forms of cancer in laboratory animals and to shrink animal tumors.
Human studies of curcumin in cancer prevention and treatment are in the very early stages. One study of 15 patients with colorectal cancer was done to find out how much curcumin they could safely take, and whether they could take a dose large enough to be detected in the blood. The patients were able to take 3.6 grams of curcumin without noting ill effects. At this high dose, some curcumin and its products were found in the blood. Lower doses may work for the stomach and intestine. Even though it does not absorb well into the body, it has been shown to absorb into the colon lining and into any cancerous tissue in the colon. The researchers recommended that the high dose be used when curcumin is tested for effects outside the intestine. Other small studies have found people were able to take up to 10 grams per day for a period of a few weeks without noting problems. Some researchers are currently working on ways to increase absorption of curcumin by combining it with other substances. Further clinical trials are needed to find out what role, if any, turmeric and curcumin may play in the prevention or treatment of cancer.
Curcumin may also promote the emptying of the gallbladder, but again, more studies are needed.
Early research has suggested that curcumin may help lower "bad" cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and help with arthritis symptoms, although more reliable human studies are still needed.
Although laboratory and animal tests look very promising, careful study is needed to find out whether curcumin will be useful for treating these conditions in humans. It is important to remember that extracted compounds such as curcumin are not the same as the whole herb, and study results would not be likely to show the same effects.
Post Edited (robertcool) : 5/11/2011 6:47:38 AM (GMT-6)