Turmeric Compounds and Kidney Cancer Prevention
Did you know rates of kidney cancer are increasing in many countries? Conversely, countries such as India and in Southeast Asia are known to have lower rates of most types of cancer. In fact, India has 90% less incidence of kidney cancer. Some authors suggest the difference be that traditional diets in these countries include lots of turmeric, and modern scientific research shows that there may be valid reason to think adding turmeric to your diet could help prevent renal and other types of cancer. (vi.1-2, 148)
Types of Kidney Cancer and Prognosis
Renal cell adenocarcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer diagnosed. It develops in the tiny tubes that filter waste from the blood. Other types include renal pelvis carcinoma, which occurs where urine collects in the kidney, and Wilms tumor, which is typically found in very young children. (vi.240, 316)
Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer
A number of health conditions, lifestyle, and substances can increase the risk of developing cancer in the kidneys. These include:
- Dietary: Population studies suggest there's an increased risk of renal cancer and acrylamides. In an animal study, oral curcumin (from turmeric) reduced evidence of DNA breaks caused by acrylamides formed when starchy foods (such as potatoes and bread) are fried in oil at high temperatures. (vi.189)
- Toxic chemicals: Smoking, exposure to pesticides, and ingestion of poisons (such as arsenic) can introduce chemicals that may increase risk of kidney cancer. (vi.221, 317-318)
- Genetic conditions (e.g., von Hippel-Lindau disease). (vi.317)
- Metabolic syndrome conditions: These include obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance, and abnormal cholesterol/triglyceride levels. For example, the risks of developing and dying from kidney cancer are both higher in people with diabetes than those without the condition. And disturbing findings of a recently published study by doctors at Emory University School of Medicine show that rates of kidney cancer amongst young teens have significantly increased - which they suggest may be due to increased rates of adolescent obesity. (vi.319-320)
- Pain medication (long term misuse). (vi.317)
Turmeric Activity against Kidney Cancer
Turmeric contains phytochemical compounds and nutrients that research suggests can have chemopreventive effects against kidney cancer. These include:
↓ Risk of metastasis in animal studies. (vi.240)
↓ Growth of kidney tumors and cancer cell proliferation in lab and animal studies. (vi.240)
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