20 Benefits Of Turmeric In Cancer [UPDATED]

Extensive research is being conducted in many laboratories across the globe on the anti-cancer properties of turmeric. Being a powerful anti-oxidant, turmeric can protect cells from getting damaged. Turmeric is now being used as a complementary therapy with conventional cancer treatment.

Laboratory tests have found that turmeric interferes with many critical molecular pathways that cause the growth and spread of cancer. Recent studies have concentrated on the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and if this could help with the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Scientists believe that the active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin is a well known antioxidant and thus help in fighting free radicals which cause cell damage. Turmeric is also known to interfere with several key molecular  pathways which lead to cancer development.

20 Benefits of Turmeric In Cancer

Here is a list of 20 different ways turmeric benefits in cancer.

1. It kills cancer cells

One of the principal reasons why turmeric is becoming cherished as a health aid, is due to its anti-cancer property. Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, has been widely researched upon for its anti-cancer effect.

The exact cause of cancer has not been identified but it is thought of as a disturbance in cell signalling pathways that gradually affects proteins that regulate cell life and activity.

This disturbance causes the cells to be immortal and hyperproliferative and thus cancer spreads throughout the body.

A study published in Biofactors, 2013 states that curcumin’s anti-cancer action is a result of inhibition of cell signalling pathways at multiple levels.

A recent study published in Molecules 2015 identifies various targets that curcumin acts on to exert anti-cancer effect and these include :
• Transcription factors (they control the expression of genes)
• Growth factors
• Inflammatory proteins
• Cancer causing molecules
• Various proteins involved in regulation of cell cycle and cell death

This multi-faceted action of curcumin makes it a novel anti-cancer agent that holds promise for future treatment options in cancer.

What does this mean?
Turmeric and curcumin act on multiple molecular targets to defeat and kill cancer cells. Curcumin free turmeric also has some potential anti-cancer compounds.

2. It works as a chemopreventive agent

Chemoprevention involves administration of various agents that prevent potential premalignant cells from developing into cancer. It is curbing cancer in initial stages and terminating it.

Turmeric and curcumin not only kill fully developed cancerous cells but also work as chemopreventive agents. Researchers identify inhibition of nuclear factor-kappa B by curcumin as the principal mechanism behind its chemopreventive action.

Nuclear factor kappa B is the master target behind inflammatory processes and also plays a vital role in cell development.

Apart from that Rahmani et. al have identified multiple molecular targets such as activation of tumor suppressor genes, activation of cell death genes etc. that curcumin acts upon to prevent cancer.

A scientific paper published in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention states that dietary turmeric reduces the risk of cancer. Now that is a pretty powerful statement who has a genetic history of developing cancer.

Curcuminoids anti-viral property and ability to prevent activation of cancer causing genes helps terminate HPV infection in order to prevent cervical cancer.

This is also evidenced by a study where 12 weeks oral supplementation with turmeric extract prevented and reversed development of cervical cancer in women.

Curcumin is also identified as a potential chemopreventive agent in breast and colon cancer.

What does this mean?
Turmeric and curcumin can also help prevent cancer by arresting growth of premalignant cells. Dietary turmeric reduces risk of cancer.

3. It prevents metastasis

Metastasis is spread of cancer throughout the body. Cancer cells detach from the primary origin and travel via the blood and lymph.

They fight the attacks by the immune system and accumulate at various organs initiating cancer in those regions.

Metastasis is the primary cause of morbidity in cancer. Researchers have revealed that curcumin can help prevent metastasis and this is a profound revelation in cancer treatment.

Its ability to interact with various proteins and regulate their activity helps in preventing proliferation and invasion of cancerous cells.

It inhibits angiogenesis or formation of new blood vessels in tumors that halts their growth.

Experimental studies have identified curcumin’s ability to prevent metastasis in breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.

A clinical trial was conducted to find a dose of curcumin in combination with chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer. 14 patients were involved in this trail and the maximum tolerated dose was 8g per day.

Most patients showed improvement in terms of symptoms as well as biological responses. As per the researchers the recommended dose was 6g curcumin per day for 7 days every 3 weeks in combination with docetaxel.

What does this mean?
Metastasis is a major hurdle in cancer treatment and curcumin is found to prevent metastasis by arresting the growth of cancer cells and preventing them from invading in other tissues.

4. It halts progression of pre-cancerous lesions

As mentioned previously, curcumin works as a chemopreventive agent and prevents cancer from developing and progressing.

A clinical trial was conducted in National Taiwan University College Of Medicine to assess this effect of curcumin. 25 individuals were recruited for this study and they suffered from the following 5 high risk conditions:
• Resected urinary bladder cancer
• Bowen’s disease of cancer
• Cervical epithelial neoplasia
• Oral leucoplakia
• Intestinal metaplasia

Individuals were treated with 500mg curcumin/day initially and if no side effects were observed the dose was escalated gradually to reach 12g/day.

Serum concentrations were detectable at 1-2 hours after ingestion and dropped within 12 hours.

7 individuals showed an improvement evidenced by tissue culture. Only 2 individuals developed malignancy despite of curcumin treatment.

No side effects were observed at high doses but at a dose of 12g the size of the capsule was too large for ingestion. 8g of curcumin taken orally for 3 months was found to be safe and beneficial in chemoprevention.

Rai et. al also demonstrated that oral curcumin intake can cure oral precancerous conditions like oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis or lichen planus by virtue of its antioxidant property and ability to protect from DNA damage.

Oral turmeric oil extract consumed for 12 weeks can regress and prevent cervical lesions from developing into cervical cancer.

This study found that curcumin helps better in controlling pre cancerous progression in cervical cancer than standard anti-microbial therapy.

What does this mean?
Curcumin taken orally can help control growth and reverse the development of pre cancerous lesions especially in oral cancers as evidenced by human studies. Turmeric oil intake is found to prevent cervical cancer progression.

5. It has anti-carcinogenic action

Carcinogens are agents that cause cancer. They could be substances in your diet or environment or exposure to radiation etc.

Turmeric and curcumin have anti-carcinogenic action- they protect from toxic effects of carcinogen and prevent cancer.

Curcumin is found to mediate anti-carcinogenic action by raising levels of antioxidant enzymes and regulating action of nuclear factor kappa B (key player in inflammation). This action prevents growth of lymphoma.

Curcumin targets various biochemical pathways to protect from skin carcinogenesis or development of skin cancer due to exposure to harmful sun rays.

Stem cells are cells that serve as precursors to fully functional and developed cells.

Similarly cancer stem cells are rare cells that share characteristics similar to stem cells and cause renewal of tumors.

Norris et.al state that curcumin mediates it anti-carcinogenic activity by acting on cancer stem cells and regulating signalling pathways.

Curcumin’s anti-microbial action fuels its anti-carcinogenic action in gastric and colon cancer.

Curcumin activates tumor suppressor gene to prevent pepsin induced carcinogenic activity in laryngopharyngeal reflux or silent reflux.

What does this mean?
Curcumin counteracts the toxic effects of carcinogens or cancer causing agents that helps prevent cancer.

6. It has anti-tumor property

Tumor is a mass of cells; they can be benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous and spread to different parts of the body).

Curcumin as well as its derivatives have been identified with anti-tumor activity. It is found to have synergistic activity with chemotherapeutic agents.

The hormone suppressive and anti-tumor property of curcumin benefits in pituitary tumors. Tumor cells become resistant to cell death by activity of an enzyme named telomerase.

Curcumin inhibits the activity of this enzyme and benefits in brain tumor.

Curcumin activates pathways that cause cell death in order to inhibit tumor progression. This anti-tumor effect of curcumin benefits in prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pituitary tumor, brain tumor etc.

What does this mean?
Curcumin exerts anti-tumor activity by acting on various proteins, hormones and pathways that support tumor growth and thereby prevents tumors from progressing.

7. It inhibits angiogenesis in tumors

Angiogenesis is formation of new blood vessels and in healthy individuals this is an essential process especially in case of wound healing.

But in tumors, angiogenesis helps in proliferation and growth of tumors and hence anti-angiogenic agents are developed.

Curcumin inhibits angiogenesis in tumors. It inhibits the activity of cells that form blood vessels and other factors that promote formation of blood vessel.

Thereby it cuts down supply of blood to the tumors and halts their growth. (Read How Turmeric Inhibits Angiogenesis in Cancer)

What does this mean?
Curcumin inhibits angiogenesis-formation of new blood vessels and prevents tumors from growing.

8. It acts on 30+ targets to induce cell death in cancer cells

If you have read our article ‘How Turmeric Redesigns Cancer Cell Mortality’ you must be aware that curcumin interacts with 30+ molecular targets in order to kill cancer cells selectively.

Cancer cells are immortal due to disruption of pathways that regulate cell cycle; but curcumin comes and rearranges these pathways in a way that cancer cells are susceptible to cell death.

It acts on external cell death pathways to kill cancer cells.

It blocks the activity of cell survival pathways, damages DNA, balances prooxidant and antioxidant agents, acts on inflammatory enzymes and also mediates various other mechanisms to kill only cancer cells and not normal cells.

What does this mean?
Curcumin selectively terminates only cancer cells without affecting normal cells via multiple mechanisms.

9. It arrests cell cycle and development in cancer

Cell cycle is a series of phases of cell growth and development. Each phase is marked by a checkpoint and this cycle is a highly regulated process.

Curcumin regulates the activity of various proteins that control the cycle and influences some of the checkpoints as well. It arrests the growth of cancer cells in various phases and thus prevents them from growing.

It acts on as many as 7 molecular targets to arrest cells in various phases of growth.

Experimental studies show that this activity of curcumin is beneficial in conditions like head and neck cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer. (For more details please read How Turmeric Arrests Cell Cycle In Cancer)

What does this mean?
A novel mechanism of action by which turmeric exerts anti-cancer effect is by arresting the growth of cancerous cells in various phases of cell cycle and halting their growth and progression.

10. It selectively kills cancer cells and protects normal cells

Researchers have pointed out that curcumin selectively kills cancer cells and protects normal cells from toxicity. These findings are extremely essential in reversing drug resistance in tumors.

A scientific paper published in Nutrition and Cancer, 2010 reveals that curcumin protects normal cells from toxicity due to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It does so by elevating antioxidant defences and exerting anti-inflammatory effect.

The exact mechanism by which curcumin differentiates between cancer cells and normal cells hasn’t been identified but it could be because cancer cells have lost mortality related signals unlike normal cells.

This dual property of curcumin even extends to cancer stem cells; it protects normal stem cells and exerts toxicity to cancer stem cells.

What does this mean?
Unlike conventional anti-cancer agents that are toxic to cancer cells and normal cells; curcumin selectively kills cancer cells and protects normal cells from toxicity. This makes turmeric a great adjunct to conventional cancer treatment.

11. It reverses drug resistance in cancer cells

Multidrug resistance is a serious challenge in cancer treatment. P-glycoprotein is a protein involved in drug metabolism and its overexpression in cancer cell confers drug resistance.

Curcumin regulates the activity of P-gp to reverse drug resistance in cancer.

A rigorous review study identifies over 100 evidences that confirm that curcumin overcomes drug resistance in cancer cells and increases sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs.

Curcumin regulates the activity of cancer stem cells to reverse drug resistance.

A study was conducted where individuals suffering from gemcitabine resistant cancer were treated with curcumin and gemcitabine. They received 8g of curcumin orally every day.

Good compliance was seen with curcumin treatment and 1 year survival rate was 19%. Researchers concluded that curcumin in combination with gemcitabine was safe for treatment of pancreatic cancer.

What does this mean?
Curcumin can reverse drug resistance in cancer and increase sensitivity of cancer cells towards chemotherapeutic drugs.

12. It destroys cancer stem cells

Cancer stem cells, as discussed previously, are rare cancerous cells that confer the ability of renewing tumors. As per the stem cell theory of cancer, few cancer cells behave like stem cells and they renew themselves and sustain the cancer.

Li et.al comment that curcumin targets the self renewal pathway of cancer stem cells as well as other molecular targets and thus reverses drug resistance, metastasis and sustenance of cancer.

Scientific literature provides evidence that curcumin attacks cancer stem cells in colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, head and neck cancer, brain cancer.

A recent study published in Anticancer Research,2015 reveals that curcumin has asymmetrical effects on stem cells- it is toxic to cancer stem cells and non toxic to normal stem cells.

What does this mean?
Curcumin’s unique anti-cancer action even targets cancer stem cells which if left untreated cause renewal of tumors, drug resistance and metastasis.

13. It increases chemo and radio sensitivity

Apart from exerting anti-cancer effect, curcumin even sensitizes cancer cell to conventional cancer therapy.

It acts on specific genetic factors, growth regulatory pathways, drug resistance proteins, proteins that prevent cell death in order to increase sensitivity of cancer cells to cancer treatment.

Curcumin is found to increase sensitivity of various cancers such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer etc, to various chemotherapeutic drugs. (Read How Turmeric Improves Chemotherapy’s Effectiveness)

Similarly curcumin overcomes radioresistance by acting on various targets that control cell growth and development. (Read How Curcumin Increases Radiotherapy’s Effectiveness)

What does this mean?
Curcumin as an add-on to conventional cancer treatment can help increase sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

14. It is a chemo and radioprotector

Dr. Goel and Dr. Aggarwal have reported that just as curcumin increases sensitivity to cancer treatment it also protects from chemotherapy and radiotherapy induced toxicity.

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property help in protecting normal organs and tissues from cancer treatment toxicity. Curcumin protects normal cells and normal stem cells from chemotherapy induced toxicity.

It raises antioxidant defences and protects from DNA damage in radiation therapy. Curcumin supplementation also reduces visible symptoms of cancer therapy induced toxicity.

For more details on this please read Turmeric: Natural Protector From Chemo & Radio Side Effects

What does this mean?
Curcumin protects from cellular toxicity caused by chemotherapeutic agents and radiotherapy.

15. It protects from side effects of cancer treatment

A study published in Phytotherapy Research, 2014 by Belcaro et. al shows that a specialized formulation of curcumin called Meriva, helps reduce visible side effects of cancer treatment..

Patients suffering from solid tumors, undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and not in critical sages of the disease were enrolled in the study.

Patients were given 500mg Meriva or placebo thrice a day after meals.

A significant reduction in side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, organ toxicity, reduced platelet count was observed and they even experienced an improvement in cognitive function such as memory and thinking.

Even after 2 months of chemotherapy, Meriva improved health status of cancer patients and there was a reduction in percentage of individuals suffering from side effects while this was not observed in the group receiving placebo.

In the radiotherapy group, curcumin treatment reduced inflammation of mucosal lining of site treated such as inflammation of the mouth, throat, bowels etc.

It also reduced other symptoms like swallowing difficulties, nausea, fatigue, weakness as well as dependence on medications required to control side effects of cancer treatment.

Even after the treatment, Meriva was found to reduce side effects of radiotherapy significantly better than control group.

No side effects were observed with and no cases of drug interaction were mentioned.

Overall Meriva, curcumin supplement was found to be effective in reducing toxicity and side effects of cancer therapy. Authors of this paper are associated with the company Indena SpA that manufactures Meriva.

Cancer cachexia is extreme weight loss occurring in cancer and various studies identify that curcumin can benefit in this condition.

Also curcumin and turmeric benefits in oral mucosistis occurring as a result of radiation therapy. A study was conducted in head and neck cancer patients who were receiving chemoradio therapy or only radiotherapy and suffering from oral mucositis.

The individuals were either treated with turmeric mouthwash or povidone-iodine gargles. The study lasted for 7 weeks and tests were conducted every week to assess the effect of the therapy.

The group using turmeric mouthwash had delayed and reduced the incidence of oral mucositis due to radiation therapy better than povidone-iodine gargles.

Turmeric reduced the incidence of intolerable oral mucositis. It also reduced the breaks in radiation therapy due to occurrence of oral mucositis and also prevented change in body weight.

What does this mean?
Curcumin supplementation can reduce visible side effects of cancer treatment such as nausea, vomiting fatigue etc. and improve one’s health status. It can also counteract radiation therapy induced oral mucositis.

16. It can regulate immune responses to combat cancer

The immune system plays a key role in cancer development. Naturally immune system responses have the ability to initiate anti-tumor response but cancer cells evade such responses and suppress immune response.

Curcumin has immunomodulatory property- it can regulate immune responses. It helps in reversing immune suppression and benefits in immunotherapy in cancer.

A study published in Cell Division, 2015 states that curcumin helps restore immune function in cancer. It balances the population of immune cells and cytokines that help deliver an anti-tumor effect.

Curcumin is found to improve effectiveness of immunotherapy and cancer vaccines.

What does this mean?
Curcumin’s ability to regulate immune responses contributes to its anti-tumor effect and benefits in immunotherapy in cancer.

17. It curbs inflammation

Chronic inflammation can pave way for cancer as in the case of gastric cancer. Even viral infection related inflammation can trigger cancer. Inflammation in cancer also increases cancer related fatigue.

Turmeric and curcumin are strong natural anti-inflammatory agents. They act on various pathways and biochemical targets to stop inflammation and do not cause side effects like non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Research states that curcumin targets inflammation in cancer. Animal study suggests that curcumin attenuates inflammation in the airways and thereby protects from lung cancer.

The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin can thus help in chemoprevention.

What does this mean?
Turmeric and curcumin have potent anti-inflammatory property that can benefit in preventing cancer as well as reducing other symptoms related to cancer.

18. It improves antioxidant defences

Oxidative stress or imbalance between prooxidants and antioxidants fuels the progression of cancer. There is still a debate on the idea whether antioxidant supplementation as a part of cancer therapy will result in clinical improvement or no.

Curcumin and other curcuminoids are antioxidants. Their antioxidant activity contributes to their anti-tumor effect.

By raising the level of antioxidant enzymes, curcumin offers protection from toxicity induced by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Curcumin’s antioxidant action also helps in preventing cancer.

A study published in Molecules, 2010 states that dietary antioxidants like resveratrol and curcumin can help in preventing and treating blood related cancer types.

A recent study published in Nutrition and Cancer 2016 reported that curcumin supplementation in patients receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer resulted in improvement in antioxidant capacity.

Supplementation of turmeric powder with imatinib, anti-cancer drug, is found to improve antioxidant status in chronic myeloid leukemia.

What does this mean?
Curcumin improves antioxidant status of cancer patients which contributes to its anti-cancer effect and also protects from toxicity of cancer treatment.

19. It is an epigenetic agent

Presence of certain genes predisposes one to cancer. Gene therapy is being explored for treating cancer.

Epigenome consists of various proteins that regulate expression of genes. This process or activity of controlling gene expression can be altered unlike the DNA sequence of the gene and these alterations give rise to epigenetic changes.

Curcumin is being identified as an epigenetic agent and the application of this property of curcumin is being studied in relation to prevention and treatment of cancer.

Experimental studies have identified the utility of this property of curcumin in relation to various cancer like colon cancer , leukemia , bladder cancer , liver cancer etc.

What does this mean?
Curcumin functions as an epigenetic agent. It can regulate the activity that control expression of genes that contribute to cancer development.

20. Curcumin free turmeric has anti-cancer activity

Curcumin free turmeric is also found to have anti-cancer activity. As many as 11 compounds have been identified in turmeric that have anti-tumor activity.

A recent study published in Investigational New Drugs, Dec 2015 reveals that a novel compound from turmeric called β-sesquiphellandrene has anti-cancer potential comparable to curcumin.

Turmeric oil is also found to have chemopreventive or cancer preventing property.

What does this mean?
Turmeric has many other compounds apart from curcumin that have anti-cancer and anti-tumor property. Dietary inclusion of turmeric can benefit in cancer prevention and treatment.

FAQS on Turmeric and Cancer

Here are answers to a couple queries asked about turmeric frequently.

1. Will turmeric heal cancer?
Turmeric has natural anti-cancer properties that have demonstrated great results in experimental studies and also helped in controlling cancer progression in clinical trials. But due to its absorption limitation it is still difficult to use turmeric alone to treat cancer.

2. Can Golden Paste help in cancer?
Golden Paste or dietary inclusion of turmeric can help in cancer to strengthen immunity and lower side effects of cancer treatment. It can help in chemoprevention and help in maintaining remission. In case of higher stages of the disease turmeric supplements may be necessary.

3. Can turmeric be used to treat cancer in pets?
Yes turmeric or Golden Paste can be given to pets to treat cancer. Please refer to Pets tab right on top of the page for more details.

4. What dose of turmeric should I take for cancer?
This depends on the form of turmeric you take. We recommend taking Golden Paste in diet and turmeric supplements for cancer and the details have been highlighted in the Dosage section below.

5. Should I take whole turmeric or curcumin for cancer?
We recommend curcumin supplements for cancer treatment along with dietary turmeric for a better effect.

6. Is it safe to take turmeric/Golden Paste with turmeric supplements in cancer?
Yes it is safe to take Golden Paste or turmeric in diet when taking supplements; however it is advisable to limit to low doses say 1-2 teaspoon in a day to avoid gastric discomfort.

7. What herbs can I take with turmeric for cancer?
Various herbs and natural aids are recommended for cancer treatment so it is best to consult a herbalist or health practitioner before you take natural supplements for cancer treatment.

8. Can I take turmeric with anti-cancer medications/ chemotherapy?
Yes it is safe to take turmeric in diet when taking anti-cancer medications. If taking Golden Paste or turmeric supplements avoid taking it close to the time of taking other medicines.

Maintain a 3-4 hour gap between the two. Curcumin increases sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents so it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements for cancer. (Read How Turmeric Improves Chemotherapy’s Effectiveness)

9. What dose of turmeric/curcumin should I take for chemoprevention?
This depends on the stage of pre cancerous lesions. Including turmeric in diet helps prevent cancer. More details can be found in Dosage section below.

10. What dose of turmeric/curcumin should I take when in remission?
To maintain remission we recommend taking Golden Paste along with turmeric supplements. More details is mentioned in dosage section below.

11. What dose of turmeric/curcumin should I take for non malignant tumors?
A combination of Golden Paste and turmeric supplements can be taken for non malignant tumor condtions. Please refer to Dosage section below.

12. Is it safe to take turmeric/curcumin when undergoing radiation therapy?
Turmeric can be safely included in diet during radiotherapy. Curcumin is found to increase sensitivity to radiation therapy. (Read How Turmeric Improves Radiation Therapy Effect)

13. Can turmeric be used topically for treating cancer lesions?
Yes it is safe to use turmeric topically to treat external cancer lesions. Please read Topical Turmeric for cancer.

14. Can turmeric/curcumin help reduce side effects of cancer treatment?
Research proves that curcumin attenuates side effects of cancer treatment like nausea, fatigue and also protects cells and organs from therapy induced toxicity. Please read How Turmeric Protects from Side effects of Chemo/Radio therapy

15. How long does it take for turmeric to benefit in cancer?
This depends on the individual, severity of the disease, dosage as well as form of turmeric you are taking. If taking turmeric supplements as mentioned in the Turmeric for cancer dosage article improvement should be observed as evidenced by tests within 8 weeks.

16. Are there any side effects or precautions to note about turmeric?
Turmeric when taken in diet in moderate doses is safe. However there are a certain precautions that you should be aware of and these have been discussed below in Precautions section.

17. Should turmeric be avoided in gout?
Low doses of turmeric in diet can be used in gout but for a therapeutic purpose it is preferable to take turmeric supplements. Please read Precautions section.

18. I am taking a blood thinner, can I take turmeric?
Turmeric in small amounts in diet is safe but turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of bleeding/clotting disorder. It is advisable to discuss this with your doctor.

Dosage of Turmeric For Cancer

Turmeric in diet can help prevent cancer. Curcumin, one of the active ingredients is poorly absorbed in the body and hence should be combined with black pepper and/or healthy fats for better absorption.

Here are the top 4 ways of taking turmeric/curcumin for cancer:

1.Turmeric supplements
For cancer we recommend taking turmeric supplements as conditions like cancer require high doses of curcumin for treatment. The dosage for the same is outlined in the article Turmeric / Curcumin Dosage for Cancer : A Scientific Plan.

Consult your doctor before taking turmeric supplements for cancer. It is advisable to keep a gap of 3-4 hours between taking turmeric/curcumin supplements and other medicines since curcumin interferes with drug metabolism.

Also avoid taking turmeric supplements on an empty stomach to avoid acid reflux.

2.Golden Paste
Golden Paste is a combination of turmeric with black pepper and healthy fats to ensure better absorption of turmeric.

Start with low doses such as ¼-1/2 tsp a day for a week and if you observe no side effects increase the dose by gradually every week to reach the ideal dose of 2-3 tsp a day.

Avoid taking it on an empty stomach and close to taking other medicines.

3.Turmeric Milk and Tea

You can also consume 1 cup of turmeric tea or turmeric milk occasionally but for a condition like cancer these may not be therapeutic enough. Yet they can help in boosting immunity and alleviating pain.

4.Turmeric in cooking

If not taking Golden Paste it is highly advised to include turmeric in regular cooking and diet to prevent and fight cancer.

You can simply sprinkle it in soups, curries, rice dishes, smoothies or can refer to turmeric recipes. You can also consume ½ inch piece of fresh turmeric daily or juice it.

Here are turmeric/curcumin dosage suggestions for various aspects of cancer disease

Turmeric and curcumin dosage for cancer:

For high stages of cancer disease and progression it is advisable to take turmeric supplements as outlined in the article Turmeric / Curcumin Dosage for Cancer : A Scientific Plan.

After 8 weeks, you conduct tests to assess whether curcumin has helped you.

If the results are not positive then it is unlikely that curcumin may help you. If results are positive consult your doctor and continue with the 8g dosage as per the health practitioner’s recommendation.

Also we recommend including 1-2 tsp of Golden Paste daily even when taking turmeric supplements or even if not taking turmeric supplements for this would help to strengthen immunity and counteract side effects of cancer treatment.

Turmeric and curcumin dosage for chemoprevention

If healthy and looking for ways to improve diet to prevent cancer , then opt for Golden Paste.

Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks.

It is best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take other meds. You can take a higher dose if it suits you and does not cause gastric side effects.

We recommend taking Golden Paste for chemoprevention, but in some cases supplements may be necessary and if opting for supplements a dose of 500-1000mg of standardized 95% curcumin, with piperine, is suggested. Consult your doctor before taking turmeric supplements.

Turmeric and Curcumin dosage for precancerous lesions

If suffering from precancerous lesions such as oral lesions it is advisable to take curcumin supplements as outlined in the article Turmeric / Curcumin Dosage for Cancer : A Scientific Plan.

Doses as high as 8g are required to control pre-cancerous lesions from cancer progression. Inclusion of Golden Paste at a dose of 1-2 tsp a day is beneficial , but introduce it in your diet gradually.

Turmeric and curcumin dosage for non-malignant tumors

Curcumin’s absorption limits its efficacy. So even if you are diagnosed with non-malignant tumors it is advised to follow the dosage in article Turmeric / Curcumin Dosage for Cancer : A Scientific Plan.

After 8 weeks, you conduct tests to assess whether curcumin has helped you.

If shrinkage of tumor is observed, consult your doctor and continue with the 8g dosage. Dietary inclusion of turmeric or Golden Paste at a dose of 1-2 tsp a day is beneficial.

Turmeric and Curcumin dosage for cancer remission

Dietary turmeric is a must when maintain remission for turmeric has more to offer than just curcumin. Apart from including it in cooking it is advised to consume Golden Paste at a dose of 1-2 tsp per day or even more if it suits you.

In case of remission in smoldering myeloma or suffering from smoldering myeloma please follow the dosage mentioned in article Turmeric / Curcumin Dosage for Cancer : A Scientific Plan. After 8 weeks, you conduct tests to assess whether curcumin has helped you.

If results are positive please continue with the 8g dosage in divided doses over the day. Inclusion of Golden Paste is beneficial.

In other cases of cancer remission, one can consult a health practitioner and take curcumin supplements a dose of 1-3g a day in divided doses after meals. This is in addition to dietary turmeric.

Turmeric and Curcumin dosage for cancer therapy side effects

The study that investigated the efficacy of curcumin in counteracting side effects of cancer treatment used a dose of 500mg Meriva, a specialized formulation of curcumin.

A dose of 1-2mg of standardized 95% curcumin with piperine can help counteract side effects of cancer treatment. Start with a small dose of 250-500mg and increase gradually over weeks.

Dietary turmeric or Golden Paste is a must when counteracting toxicity of cancer treatment. A dose of 1-2 tsp of Golden Paste or more if suits you should be incorporated in diet. Start with small doses and increase gradually.

What is better for cancer: Turmeric or Curcumin?

Turmeric has more to offer than curcumin. It has a number of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds apart from curcumin. However only 3-4% of turmeric powder constitutes curcumin.

So for a therapeutic effect, you would need to take large doses of turmeric powder to deliver the required amount of curcumin to target tissue. Also we can’t ignore the absorption problem.

Therefore we advise taking curcumin supplements as well as dietary turmeric/Golden Paste for a more complete approach to fight cancer.

Precautions

When taking turmeric supplements for cancer it is advisable to discuss it with your doctor first for the following reasons:

  • Curcumin increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy which is good but it may require your cancer treatment dosage to be monitored.
  • Curcumin increases sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation therapy which is good but then the radiation therapy needs to be monitored.
  • Various studies have shown that curcumin has a synergistic action with chemotherapeutic drugs but it is best to consult your doctor with regards to the same.
  • One study states that curcumin may hinder immunotherapy outcomes in skin cancer but has not been clinically proven; so it is better to take a doctor’s advice for this.

Turmeric supplements should be taken after meals to avoid acid reflux symptoms.

Avoid taking it at the same time as other medicines and maintain 3-4 hour gap. This is because curcumin and piperine interferes in drug metabolism.

A couple of general precautions with turmeric supplements include:

  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Prior to surgery (at least 15 days)
  • If taking anti-diabetic or stomach acid reducing medications
  • If suffering from gall bladder problems

Turmeric intake as a spice should be limited if you are prone to kidney stone development or if suffering from gout. In case of turmeric supplements consult a health practitioner prior.

Conclusion

Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin are strong natural anti-cancer agents. They can also help prevent cancer and detoxify body from cancer causing agents.

Turmeric can help attenuate side effects of cancer therapy and also increase sensitivity to cancer treatment. Turmeric and curcumin should be considered as an adjunctive treatment for cancer and also as a chemopreventive agent.

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18 Comments

  1. I’ve had Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4. I had the surgery, the chemo, and the radiation. I was diagnosed July 22nd 2013. About 4 months later I was searching the web for cannabis and I stumbled upon a site that said Garlic will beat it and won’t leave any after effects. It would just kill the cancer. I went for a whole year doing nothing but garlic. The cancer was gone. Then it started growing back. My Oncologist suggested more chemo and possibly surgery. I haven’t had chemo since May 2014. I had learned about Turmeric since then so I talked them into holding off. I had Turmeric, Garlic, Ginger, and Cayenne Pepper every day. As of August 2016 it was completely gone. Another MRI In November 2016 showed it better than before

    1. For breakfast I take 2 teaspoon Turmeric, 1 Teaspoon of Ginger, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper and black pepper mixed in with my eggs. I cook it in extra virgin olive oil and safflower oil. I add an avocado, tomatoes, a clove of Garlic. At night I have a smoothie with 2 teaspoons of Turmeric, 1 teaspoon of Ginger, 1 teaspoon of minced Garlic, 1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I teaspoon on Coconut Oil, 1 cup of Coconut Milk, some Ceylon Cinnamon, I teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract, Honey, and 2 bananas. I’ve doing that since Dec 2016 everyday. My scans don’t show any cancer. I had a Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4. Should I be doing something different? I didn’t know about the different dosages until I came to this site. I’m still confused? One says you should take 8g of Turmeric. If you take it as a paste (which is what I think I’m doing) it’s 1-3 teaspoons 3 times a day. Am I overdoing it or should I take more?

      1. Hi. 2 teaspoons at a time may not suit some individuals who are new to turmeric and cause gastric side effects. But since you are not facing any such issue it is alright. The dose outlined in most articles is a minimum or recommended dose at which one can see benefits. The ideal dose depends on what suits you; for some it is less for some more. Turmeric as a spice and in diet is safe. This amount is sufficient and since you are taking it with black pepper and fats it will be well absorbed.

    2. Hi. If you intend to take turmeric for cancer, we have a specific dose outlined here: https://www.turmericforhealth.com/general-info/turmeric-curcumin-dosage-for-cancer-a-scientific-plan
      Please consult your doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
      If looking for turmeric for cancer prevention a dose of 1-2g of turmeric powder in diet (with black pepper and oil) is advised. Dietary turmeric benefits in cancer prevention. You may seek help of a naturopathy specialist or herbalist.

  2. Hi from Greece!
    I have smoldering myeloma, no symptoms,no medication,apart from zometa every year,and blood test every 3 months.I take the Golden Paste every day,and I was adviced by you to take supplements as well.
    But I am a bit confused about how and where to find the proper supplements in Greece.Can you help me?
    Thank you

  3. I have recently started to add ground turmeric, black pepper and healthy fats to my daily diet. What dosage would you recommend I take to help prevent cancer?

    1. Hi,

      Sorry if the statement caused confusion. What I want to say is if you want to use turmeric as a parallel treatment it is good to talk to your doctor about it. He may suggest you not to use or use in limited quantity or maybe use freely based on the medications one currently is taking.

      Secondly, if one is consulting alternative medicine practitioners, they may also suggest its usage based on their treatment.

      Hope this clarifies your doubt.

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