Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death

Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death

September 15, 2019 73 By Ewald Bahringer


“Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming
Cancer Cell Death” The anticancer effects of the
turmeric pigment curcumin extend well beyond it’s ability
to block carcinogens. The anticancer effects of
curcumin mainly result from the multitude of ways it regulates
programmed cell death. It’s estimated that human body consists
of 10 or so trillion cells, that’s a million million. Almost all of these cells get turned
over within approximately 100 days. We’re like a new person,
every three months! We reinvent ourselves
physically. And since we’re just
made up of 3 things air, water, and food –
those are the only inputs – we are what we eat
literally, physically! In a sense, our body has to rebuild
itself every three months with the building materials we
deliver to it through our stomach. Our mouths are like
the access road to the continual construction
site to our body. Trucks roll in
3 times a day. What do we want
them to deliver? Some shoddy cheap stuff
we scrounged around for or bought at the discount outlets
that’s just going to fall apart? Or do we want to build
our foundation solid? We are each walking
around inside the greatest known architectural
structures in the universe! Let’s not ruin such grand
blueprints by consuming junk. Anyway, we only own the biological
real estate we’re born with, so if need to rebuild every three months,
we also need a wrecking crew. If we’re replacing 10 trillion
every hundred days, that means we have to kill off like
100 billion cells every day, normally. Out with the old,
in with the new. We do that primarily through
a process called apoptosis, pre-programmed
cell death, from the Greek “ptosis”
meaning falling, and “apo”
meaning away from. So it’s our cells falling
away from our body. For example, we all used to have
webbed fingers and toes, literally. Each one of us in the
womb until about 4 months, and then the
apoptosis kicks in and the cells in the webbing in between kill
themselves off to separate our fingers. Some cells in our body overstay
their welcome, though, like cancer cells. They don’t die when
they’re supposed to by somehow turning off
their suicide genes. What can we
do about it? Well, one of the ways
curry kills cancer cells, is by reprogramming the self-destruct
mechanism back into cancer cells. Let me just run through
one of these pathways, just to see the complexity.
FAS, is a so-called death receptor, which activates the FAS
associated death domain, along with death receptor 5,
and death receptor 4. FADD then activates caspase-8, which ignites the death
machine, and kills the cell. Where does curry powder
fit into all this? In cancer cells, curcumin,
the pigment in the spice turmeric that makes curry
powder yellow, upregulates and activates
death receptors, as has been demonstrated in
human kidney cancer cells as well as skin cancer,
and nose and throat cancer. It can also activate the
death machine directly, as has been shown in lung
cancer and colon cancer. Caspases are so-called
executioner enzymes, that when activated, destroy
the cancer cell from within by chopping up proteins
left and right, kind of a death by
a thousand cuts. And that’s just
one pathway. Here’s all the other ways
curcumin can affect apoptosis. Here’s all the different types of
cancer cells curcumin can kill, but it tends to leave
normal cells alone for reasons that are
not fully understood. Overall, this review showed
that curcumin can kill a wide variety of tumor cell types
through diverse mechanisms. And it’s because curcumin can
affect numerous mechanisms of cell death at
the same time, it’s possible that cancer cells may
not easily develop resistance to curcumin-induced
cell death, like they do to
most chemotherapy. Furthermore, its ability to kill
tumor cells and not normal cells makes curcumin an attractive candidate…
for supper? Can’t make money on some
spice you can buy anywhere. An attractive candidate
for drug development.