Take Turmeric to Avoid Pancreatic Cancer, A Disease That Killed Steve Jobs

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard


There are two unconventional therapies Wascher suggests to some of his patients who are battling pancreatic cancer:

Turmeric. Turmeric has a cancer-fighting component called curcumin. "Laboratory tests and some animal studies show it has potential activity against pancreatic cancer." But, he warns, "What works in a laboratory environment doesn't necessarily work in humans." Wascher himself takes 1,000 mg of turmeric twice a day. "I don't know for sure that it will help me, but I'm pretty sure it won't hurt." There is no established dosage, but most experts recommend taking between 500 mg and 2,000 mg daily.

A Phase II clinical trial at MD Anderson Center involved 25 patients with pancreatic cancer who were given 8 grams of turmeric a day for two months. Tumor growth stopped in two patients, one for eight months and another for two-and-a-half years. Another patient's tumor temporarily regressed by 73 percent. Since the only two drugs approved by the FDA are effective in no more than 10 percent of patients, turmeric's effectiveness was similar with no side effects.

In another study, turmeric reduced tumor growth in mice with pancreatic cancer by 43 percent. When combined with fish oil, tumor growth was reduced by 70 percent.

Since turmeric is poorly absorbed by the body, experts advise mixing it with olive oil or a combination of olive oil and black pepper to increase absorption.

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