Sugar and spice may be yin and yang of cancer prevention
Recently sugar has been a hot topic of conversation in the cancer arena, with many articles such as this one in the New York Times noting that the scientific jury is more or less out on the fact that sugar feeds cancer cells. Of course, some people, namely Dr. Robert Lustig, have gone one step further and actually contend that sugar causes cancer. Not so nice a prospect for the Cookie Monsters out there, myself included.
Then, on the preventative side of the issue, you have the incredible story of curcumin borne out by research from the very prominent and mainstream University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Curcumin is the primary component of the spice turmeric by the way, and the short and sweet of this new research is that curcumin was found to have an innate “intelligence,” such that it can distinguish between cancer cells and normal healthy cells. The real kicker, however, is how curcumin interacts with these two types of cells. Not only does it flip gene switches that destroy cancer cells, it also serves to bolster the defenses of healthy cells. Yowza!
With a finding like that, you’d think that today’s front page article in the Wall Street Journal — citing MD Anderson Cancer Center as a primary source mind you — would contain the word “curcumin” at least once. But yet, it seems a curious omission. The article does of course mention drugs from the likes of Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Pfizer … go figure.