According to a study that appears online in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, compounds (curcumin from turmeric and piperine from black peppers) derived from pepper and turmeric could help prevent breast cancer by limiting the growth of stem cells that promote tumor growth.
In technical terms the study indicates “both curcumin and piperine inhibited mammosphere formation, serial passaging, and percent of ALDH+ cells by 50% at 5 μM and completely at 10 μM concentration in normal and malignant breast cells…Curcumin and piperine separately, and in combination, inhibit breast stem cell self-renewal but do not cause toxicity to differentiated cells. These compounds could be potential cancer preventive agents.”
Turmeric is a popular ingredient for many Indian, Persian, Thai and Malay dishes, and has many medicinal properties. It is used in South Asia as an antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises, and antibacterial agent. Turmeric is popular as a tea in Okinawa, Japan, and in Pakistan it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort.
The compounds were tested only in a laboratory but the study underscores the powerful role healthy diets rich in natural foods and herbs can have on our health. The list of organic foods included in a diet rich in fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables linked to the prevention of disease is endless.