After five years of living with cancer and the ravages of side-effects from repeated unsuccessful treatment, Dieneke Ferguson thought she was finally losing the battle. She had a serious relapse and there seemed little hope.
Dieneke had been diagnosed with the blood cancer myeloma in 2007 and had undergone three rounds of chemotherapy as well as four stem cell transplants.
‘I have been on all sorts of toxic drugs and the side-effects were terrifying,’ she says. ‘At one point I lost my memory for three days, and in 2008 two of the vertebrae in my spine collapsed so I couldn’t walk. They injected some kind of concrete into my spine to keep it stable.
’Yet, despite all this, ‘nothing worked: there was just too much cancer — all my options were exhausted, and there was nothing else I could do,’ she says.
Then Dieneke started a new treatment — not another high-tech, expensive drug, but a remedy based on something many of us have in our kitchen cupboards. Where all others had failed, this one worked, and five years on, Dieneke’s cancer cell count is negligible.
The treatment? Curcumin, which is a key component of the spice turmeric. Dieneke’s recovery was so extraordinary that it recently made the pages of the eminent British Medical Journal as a one-off case report of how a natural ingredient was somehow keeping cancer at bay.
‘When you review her chart, there’s no alternative explanation [for her recovery] other than we’re seeing a response to curcumin,’ Jamie Cavenagh, professor of blood diseases at London’s Barts Hospital and co-author of the report, said. [...]
India has a low incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer's, which may be related to genetics or a particular intake of specific foods. Some people attribute the low incidence of Alzheimer's to a high intake of turmeric in Asia.
As turmeric contains an average of 5-10% curcumin, the daily intake of curcumin is approximated in India is thought to be about 125 mg. Importantly in cooking curries, curcumin is often dissolved and extracted into fat, eg. ghee, which may increase its bioavailability. [...]
Turmeric demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities in lab studies. A few studies suggest that curcumin has biological activity in some cancer patients but more data are needed to verify its benefits.
Turmeric is a spice that has been used in cooking for centuries. Scientists have determined that turmeric has many biological activities, although they do not fully understand exactly how it exerts these effects. From laboratory experiments, it has been deduced that substances in turmeric (called curcuminoids) prevent inflammation by inhibiting the molecules that mediate inflammatory reactions. Curcuminoids may protect the body in a few ways: they enhance the activity of an important detoxifying enzyme and they also act as antioxidants by neutralizing free radicals (which can cause DNA damage). In rats, turmeric prevented the development of kidney damage from toxins. Turmeric also stimulates the flow of bile in the gastrointestinal tract. [...]
Turmeric is an old Indian spice with a powerful medicinal compound called Curcumin. Here are the top 10 health benefits of turmeric/curcumin. [...]
A detoxifying drink used in traditional Indian medicine, 'golden milk' owes its name to the bright yellow colour of turmeric. Mixed with warming spices l [...]
“Inflammation” is a word that’s mentioned quite a bit but not many people know what it means, let alone how to prevent it and treat it should they have it.
Put simply, inflammation acts as the body’s first responder – it is the response of the body’s immune system to stress, Desiree Nielsen, registered dietitian and author of Un-Junk Your Diet, explains.
According to Nielsen, there are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.
In most cases, however, when inflammation is mentioned, the chronic type is usually being referenced.
“Chronic inflammation represents a loss of the balance between tolerance and action in the immune system – because for your immune system to operate properly, it needs to know when it really needs to act, and when it needs to hang back when it’s not a big deal,” Nielsen says. “Usually it’s the immune system that’s very confused by some aspect of modern living. So chronic stress is a very under-rated source of chronic inflammation in the body, and it has a very real physical impact on us.”
Chronic inflammation has been linked to ailments like diabetes, obesity and heart disease, among others, Nielsen points out.
It can be triggered by lifestyle, infection or environment, but perhaps the biggest trigger, Nielsen says, is diet.
“Maintenance of stable blood sugars and avoiding that blood sugar roller coaster will help with inflammation,” Nielsen says. “Making very high glycemic choices and ones that spike blood sugars and keep a high level of blood sugar circulating in the blood tends to promote chronic inflammation.”
Turmeric is a golden-coloured spice that is native to Southeast Asia but can be bought here in Canada. It is also part of the ginger family, and it is also what gives curry its colour.
“This is one of the best researched, but also a befuddling anti-inflammatory,” Nielsen says. “The reason why is because the main component is called curcumin. In lab studies, it has shown remarkable anti-inflammatory capacity… and the consumption is associated with lower levels of cancer prevention and Alzheimer’s disease.”
But when humans eat turmeric, Nielsen explains that the spice is not very “bio-available,” meaning humans don’t actually digest and absorb the spice into our circulation very well, so humans have to consume a lot of it.
“But we’re also learning now that perhaps, part of how it works is through the gut,” Nielsen says. “So by not being digested or absorbed might be happening because it has a bit of a prebiotic effect on our gut bacteria – so feeding beneficial bacteria. But the compounds may also be interacting with the gut level immune system as opposed to having a huge amount of activity when in the blood.” [...]
Knee pain is not an ailment that only inflicts the old. Today aching joints can hit you at any age be it mid 30s-40s or 60-70s. Joint inflammation, especially in the knees, is the most reported of all joint discomforts and diseases. Robert Nickodem, Jr., MD tells osteoarthritis or 'wear-and-tear' arthritis, is like a rusty … [...]
One of the biggest trends in the fitness world is turmeric everything, and for good reason. Several studies have confirmed turmeric's varied health benefits as [...]
World Alzheimer's Month is commemorated every year in the month of September. This international campaign was launched in 2012 to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia and Alzheimer's disease. [...]
It is an irresistible combination of fluffy hot-from-the-steamer rice drizzled with gulai ayam and served with easy-to-eat pieces of juicy fried turmeric chicken and burn-your-tongue-off sambal belacan that draws people to Warung Cikgu in Puchong.
Started in May 2005, the eatery was set up by Kelantan native Ariff Suqimi and managing the two outlets is Ariff’s primary school friend and fellow Kelantanese, Nik Mohd Faiz, 28.
The name of the place pays tribute to Ariff’s father who is popularly known as Cikgu Karim, a nod to his profession. This January, they expanded and opened another outlet in USJ1’s Regalia Business Centre.
What they serve here is nasi Mmanggey which is actually different from the other Kelantanese favourite nasi Kak Wok. Confused because both dishes look identical? Can’t say we blame you as they are both feature fried chicken.
Nik Mohd Faiz tells us there are slight differences between the two rice dishes that trace their origins back to Kelantan. He adds, “The concept is the same but the taste is different.”
For nasi Mmanggey, the fried chicken is marinated with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt while the nasi Kak Wok chicken uses a marinade made from fresh turmeric. In terms of spice levels for the sambal belacan accompanying the rice, Nik Mohd Faiz explains to us that they increased the spiciness.
In Kelantan, nasi Mmanggey (RM5.50) is usually eaten for breakfast and lunch. At Warung Cikgu, you get to satisfy your cravings for the rice dish throughout the day.
Accompany your meal with their kelapa baldi (RM4.20) or fresh coconut water served in a small bucket. Nik Mohd Faiz tells us the coconuts are sourced from Bagan Datoh in Perak.
You also have Shake!Gu (RM3.70), their version of coconut shake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The word gu is Kelantanese slang for buddy.If you’re early, look for their breakfast items which are available till 10am. A must-try is the nasi lemak biasa (RM2.70). Simple but satisfying; the fluffy rice is delicious when paired with the fragrant, not too spicy sambal and crunchy deep fried ikan bilis. [...]
These days you can’t go a week without hearing about another ‘superfood’ or the health benefits of a new food trend. Even Starbucks has jumped on the bandwagon, announcing its latest caffeinated offering: the turmeric latte. No doubt this was inspired by food bloggers decreeing that turmeric is a ‘superfood’.
Chef Anthony Warner is unlikely to be impressed with turmeric’s good press. Writing as his blogging alter-ego The Angry Chef, Warner declares: ‘There is no such thing as a superfood.’
Warner has dedicated himself to debunking the health myths behind the food fads that have been multiplying ever since the phenomenon of food-blogging took off. In his witty and slightly ranty blog, he has pulled apart many of the popular dietary trends of the past few years, from sugar-free diets to ‘paleo’ and the alleged miracle benefits of coconut oil. The blog quickly gathered momentum and this year Warner brought out his first book: The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating. [...]
Inflammation isn’t just a trendy buzzword in medical circles these days – it’s a real threat to our health.
The inflammatory response is nature’s way to help heal the body from illness or injury but chronic inflammation is at the root of many dreaded diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
“While inflammation can be healthy and a critical part of the body’s monitoring and repair systems, the real problem occurs when it goes out of balance and starts attacking our own, healthy cells instead of outside invaders,” says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of “Real Cause, Real Cure,” and a leading authority in the field of inflammation.
“The has become a major problem, with the inflammation process now contributing not only to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and arthritis but also to the rising epidemic of autoimmune disease. “
Teitelbaum tells Newsmax Health there are eight simple ways to fight inflammation and reduce your risk of these diseases:
Omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll find these well-known inflation fighters in foods like salmon, flax seed and walnuts. “Increasing your intake of fish can certainly help, but eating fried fish at McDonald’s makes the problem worse,” says Teitelbaum. “Steam or bake the fish just until done.”If you choose to use fish oil supplements to get the maximum bang of omega-3 fatty acids for your buck, the expert advises buying vectorized forms of the nutrient. “A small vectorized capsule replaces 8 large capsules of fish oil and there are no fish oil burps because it contains pure omega-3.”
Spice things up. Curcumin, the bioactive ingredient in the spice turmeric, has lots of science supporting its anti-inflammatory benefits. A 2015 study at the University of Arizona found that curcumin suppressed inflation and prevented tumor formation in mice with colitis-associated colon cancer. “Ginger is another good spice to take regularly,” says Chris D’Adamo, director of research at the Center for Integrative Medicine, University if Maryland. “I personally take a capsule called CuraMed every day to beat inflammation because it is the most highly absorbed form,” notes Teitelbaum. [...]