CML is a type of leukemia. For those of you that don’t know CML stands for chronic myeloid leukemia. Turmeric is an Indian spice that is in the ginger family. It is used to flavor all types of food and has a deep orange-yellow color. That orange-yellow color is actually called curcumin. Curcumin is what gives turmeric most of its healthy attributes. The study we looked into used turmeric powder but it is understood the effects came from curcumin.
CML Treated With Gleevec.
CML treatment usually involves a drug called imatinib. Imatinib also called Gleevec, is one of the first forms of targeted Cancer therapy. It’s one of the first drugs that kills cancer cells but not normal cells. This drug selectively blocks the BCR-Abl enzyme and stops it from adding phosphate groups. By doing this the cancer cell stops growing and dies by apoptosis. Apoptosis is one of many ways a cancer cell can die. It’s a type of cell death that is very controlled unlike necrosis which is very messy.
Turmeric Lowers Free Radicals.
A study of 50 patients with CML were given either Gleevec alone or combined with turmeric powder. Study showed that group with combined treatment had significantly lower Nitric oxide levels. This is important because Nitric oxide is a free radical. Increased free radical levels are involved in many cancers, as well as leukemia. Lower levels of free radicals are needed to protect various human organs from ischemic damage.
Free Radicals Not Always Bad.
When it comes to cancer, free radicals are a double edged sword. At slightly elevated concentrations they promote cancer. At very high concentrations they can inhibit growth and cause cancer cell death. The drug taken in this study did not use free radicals as an anti-cancer mechanism. Therefore it would be beneficial to lower free radicals for the patients health and overall survival. Depending on the type of treatment a cancer patient is receiving that might not always be true. But in this study it makes perfect sense. A connection between lower free radical levels and effective treatment can be made.
Study Data Is Important.
The information given by this study is pretty amazing. It might not look like it on the surface but dig a little deeper and you’ll find gold. Turmeric powder causing free radical levels to go lower is pretty great. Not because it’s a spice that you cook with. But because we know curcumin is what did it. But there is so little actual curcumin in turmeric. Combine that with the terrible absorption of curcumin even at high doses and you have something special here. That means that such a very tiny amount of curcumin was able to noticeably lower free radicals in CML patients. Now that’s amazing.