This deep yellow-colored valuable plant is of Southern Asia origin and comes from the zingiberaceae family. It includes curcumin, which gives it the deep yellow color and etheric oil. Having been defined as “blood cleaner and energizer” in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian herbal medicine, and having been commonly used as a spice under the name “curry” for 4000 years, the powdered plant root has been found out, through the recent studies, to have a very important place in human health.
Known therapeutic properties of Curcuma Longa are its increasing effects on gastric secretion, peristalsis and bile acids in liver. Recent studies prove, in addition to known therapeutic properties, that curcumin has significant medical effects on some common cancer types. Particularly it is revealed that Curcuma Longa containing deep yellow curcumin pigment called Indian Saffron displays anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. Clinical studies carried out on patients with genetic adenomatosis polyposis (large intestine polyps) showed that curcumin reduced 60% of polyps and it downsized the remaining part in the ratio of 50%. The importance of this effect can easily be appreciated when considered that large intestine polyps have no or few clinical indications in humans for a long term and that they pave the way for colon cancer.
In May 2012, British researchers expressed that they administered a curcumin treatment in addition to chemotherapy in patients with advanced colon cancer, that both treatments displayed a very good synergic effect when administered together, and that this was even better than they anticipated. Another study on breast cancer was announced in the 102nd annual assembly of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) on 2-6 April, 2011. According to the findings of the in vivo study, curcumin even in low doses reduced the effect of HER -2 gene 70% 16-24 hours after it was given to the body. Also in the same study, it was observed that curcumin decreased phospho -HER -2 and total – HER -2 protein levels. [ref.1]
In the -2010;70;2445-2454- research report, published in 2010, of the American Association for Cancer Research, it was indicated that curcumin (the active ingredient of Curcuma Longa) has a significant therapeutic and protective role in breast and pancreatic cancers.
According to the summarized results of the study, stat3 transcription factor constituting a genetic factor family is observed in most of the cancer types in humans. Normally STAT 3 family undertakes a number of tasks in the body such as life sustainability in cells, growing factor and promotion of neovascularization. However, the most recent cancer studies show that STAT 3 genetic factors continue their normal and vital tasks for the body also in cancerous tissues (breast and pancreatic cancer) due to phosphorylation and mutations. The same scientists determined a constriction in tumor growth and tumoral vascularization in in vivo and in vitro breast and pancreatic cancers and constriction in tumoral tissues in animal experiments thanks to small-molecule inhibitor substances of curcumin (Curcuma Longa) origin called FLLL 31 and FLLL 32 known to be suppressing and inhibiting these abnormal changes in STAT 3 [ref.2]. Scientists in the University of Texas in Houston, America, observed that curcumin helped preventing breast cancer metastases in experimental animals and that this effect was even stronger in the ones to which Paclitaxel treatment was administered. Some common clinical studies indicate that curcumin has an anti-carcinogenic and actively protective property in prostate cancer [ref.3,4,5,6].
Most of the recent studies verify that curcumin, the active ingredient of Curcuma Longa, has various active anti-tumoral activities. Among these studies, a study on lung cancer is attention-grabbing. The departments of internal diseases, clinical laboratory sciences, biotechnology, basic medical sciences, of the Medical Faculty of National Taiwan University and respective specialists from the Department of Molecular Biotechnology in the University of Yeh in Taiwan, Changhua participated in this study. The study was published by the American Association for Cancer Research in 2008.
This study investigated the condition of lung cancer cells (CL 1-5) and their metastases when experimental animals were administered curcumin. This comprehensive and detailed study revealed that curcumin activates (HLJ1), a tumor suppressing protein, and has a slowing and suppressing effect on the migration, invasion, and metastatic dispersion of lung adenocarcinoma cells in humans. The study was carried out as in vivo and in vitro, that is, on living organisms and in the conditions of a laboratory [ref.7, 8].
It is found that Curcuma Longa has an important role in bone health. Curcumin reduces the osteoclast activity, thus reducing the osteoporosis. It also prevents osteoporosis in women caused by decrease in estrogen in middle and advanced ages. Curcumin is known to have a strengthening effect on immune system in the traditional Far East medicine. With this effect, it provides a fast recovery in respiratory tract diseases.
Bioavailability of curcumin is low when taken orally due to “First Pass Effect”. This low effect occurs due to the fact that the active ingredient absorbed in the digestive tract and coming to the liver loses its effect by being metabolized. This effect is eliminated in the Curcuma Longa extract produced with a new method developed by Immu-nat.