How Curcuma Longa Benefits Breast Health [2022 UPDATED]
Breast changes take place throughout a woman’s life. Age, medicines, hormone levels all these play a role in these changes which can take the form of lumps, and fluid discharges which is not breast milk.
Some common breast disorders: (https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mastitis/DS00678)
Fibrocystic breast changes which occur before a menstrual cycle and cause thickening, lumpiness and swelling of breasts
Cysts which are fluid-filled lumps
Blocked milk ducts
Intraductal papillomas which are wart-like growths around the nipples
Milk secretion even in women who are not breastfeeding
Fibroadenomas which are round, rubbery, solid lumps which move around and occur in younger women.
Mastitis which usually affects breastfeeding women is a breast tissue infection. This causes swelling, pain, redness and warmth of the breasts accompanied by fever and chills.
Breast cancer is the most serious of all breast disorders and occurs when tumors form in the breast tissue. This can spread to surrounding organs and tissues. Diet, ethnicity, genetics and age can all be contributing factors to breast cancer.
How it Benefits Breast Health:
1. Curcumin kills breast cancer cells;
2. Topical turmeric benefits in external breast cancer lesions;
3. Curcumin benefits in breast cancer therapy;
4. Curcumin remedies lactational mastitis;
5. Curcuma Longa protects from infectious conditions;
6. Curcumin attenuates premenstrual syndrome symptoms;
7. It have medicinal properties may benefit from various breast disorders.
How it Benefits Breast Health
Primarily right Turmeric from Curcuma Longa which contain curcumin, benefits in breast cancer; however its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties benefit in various breast related disorders.
Curcumin kills breast cancer cells
It have natural anti-cancer activity. A recent study published in Cancer Cell International, 2017 demonstrated that curcumin and its derivatives can terminate breast cancer cells by arresting their development in various phases of cell cycle and growth and inducing cell death. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28239299
Wang et.al have proven that curcumin and berberine have a synergistic anti-cancer action in breast cancer and may benefit in treatment and prevention of breast cancer. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27263652)
Research by Saab et.al highlights that curcumin may be beneficial in the treatment of non-malignant or benign breast tumors as well. A study published in Anticancer Research 2005, demonstrates that curcumin regulates as many as 30 genes and acts on multiple biochemical pathways in order to destroy breast cancer cells.
Researchers in France have conducted a clinical trial to identify the dose suitable for advanced or metastatic breast cancer treatment. As per the study, the recommended dose of curcumin is 6000mg per day for 7 consecutive days every 3 weeks along with standard docetaxel treatment.
What does this mean?
Curcumin in turmeric benefits in breast cancer and reverses drug resistance.
2. Topical turmeric benefits in external breast cancer lesions
Kuttan et.al published a study in 1987 on ‘Turmeric and Curcumin as topical agents in cancer therapy’.This study involved patients who had external cancerous lesions and some of them were breast cancer lesions. These lesions did not respond to treatment.
90% individuals experienced a reduction in smell. Itching reduced in almost all cases. 70% individuals experienced drying up of lesions. 10% of patients experienced a reduction in lesion size and pain.
What does this mean?Topical application of curcumin can benefit in external breast cancerous lesions by bringing about reduction in pain, smell and itching.
3. Curcumin benefits in breast cancer therapy
Curcumin serves as #chemosensitizer and #radiosensitizer – it increases the effectiveness of cancer therapy. A study published in International Journal of Oncology, 2016 reveals that curcumin increases the apoptotic (apoptosis means cell death) effect of paclitaxel (chemotherapeutic drug) in breast cancer and its concomitant use may reduce the toxicity of the therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27779649
Kumar et.al have identified that curcumin can be an effective adjuvant treatment in breast cancer as it increases the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs and kills cancer cells and prevents metastasis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25553436
Researchers at University of Rochester Medical Center have proven that daily supplementation of 2g curcumin three times a day (total 6 g) significantly reduces the rate of radiation dermatitis in patients suffering from breast cancer and receiving radiotherapy.
What does this mean?
Curcumin increases the sensitivity of chemotherapeutic drugs and protects from toxicity of cancer therapy in breast cancer.
4. Curcumin remedies lactational mastitis
In some cases, it may trigger infection.
A study was conducted which involved 63 breastfeeding women suffering from lactational mastitis. They were treated with either topical curcumin ( 1 pump every 8 hours for 3 days) or a topical moisturizer as a placebo.
After 72 hours, it was observed that patients in the topical curcumin group had a reduced rate of mild to moderate mastitis.
Reduction in scores of pain, tension, swelling, and redness was also observed. No side effects were observed. Researchers concluded that topical curcumin can be an effective solution to reducing pain and inflammation in lactational mastitis.
What does this mean?
Research shows that topical curcumin application can reduce breast inflammation or mastitis in lactation.
5. It protects from infectious conditions
Breast infection is common in breastfeeding women; however, a small percentage of non-lactating women may also present with a breast infection. This may lead to breast inflammation or mastitis and in severe cases may even cause abscess.
The causative bacteria included #Staphylococcus aureus as well as its drug resistant strain MRSA. It may cause swelling of the breast tissue, pus like discharge from the nipple, pain, and redness.
Research suggests that curcumin has broad spectrum anti-microbial action- it acts against infections caused by bacteria, virus or even fungi.
Curcumin shows bactericidal activity against Staphylococcus aureus by damaging the cell membrane and destroying bacteria. It reverses drug resistance in MRSA infection and has a synergistic action with other antibiotics in treatment of MRSA.
What does this mean?
Curcumin’s anti-microbial action can target Staphylcococcus aureus–the most common causative microorganism of breast infection.
6. Curcumin attenuates premenstrual syndrome symptoms
Many women experience breast tenderness and pain as part of #premenstrual syndrome. Curcumin works as a phytoestrogen and benefits in #menstruation. A study was conducted where 70 women suffering from premenstrual syndrome were treated with either curcumin or placebo. They received 2 capsules of 100mg curcumin each per day, 7 days prior to menstruation and 3 days after menstruation. This was followed by 3 consecutive menstrual cycles. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26051565
A decrease of 59.59 points was observed in baseline and post–treatment premenstrual syndrome severity score was observed in curcumin group while only a decrease of 14.45 points was observed in placebo group.
A significant improvement in physical, mood and behavioral symptoms were observed in the curcumin group. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effect and ability to regulate neurotransmitter levels was beneficial in alleviating premenstrual syndrome.
What does this mean?
Curcumin can help minimise severity of pre-menstrual syndrome and this effect may impact the changes that affect breast health with every menstrual cycle.
7. It medicinal properties may benefit from various breast disorders
Mastitis is breast inflammation which could result due to inflammatory or reactive changes but is most commonly observed in lactation. Granulomatous mastitis occurs as a result of systemic autoimmune conditions or even tuberculosis of the breast.
#Fibrocystic breast disorders are characterised by a change in breast tissue and may present with breast lumps. Cysts in breast tissue are also a common condition that affects women of the age group of 35-50 years.
Though no study has investigated this, turmeric and curcumin have a number of pharmacological properties that could benefit in these conditions. Curcumin has a natural anti-inflammatory property and acts on diverse biochemical signalling pathways in order to reduce inflammatory reactions and levels of inflammatory mediators.
It is proven to be a safe natural #anti-inflammatory agent for human use. Diet is found to play an influential role in development of benign breast diseases. Curcuminoids are natural antioxidants found in turmeric.
They help build an antioxidant defense and reduce oxidative stress.
Curcumin has immunomodulatory property-it can regulate immune responses. This is beneficial in autoimmune conditions which may cause disorders of the breast.
Curcumin’s epigenetic regulation - ability to regulate gene activity prior to expression can help in chemoprevention of breast cancer; this is of relevance to genetic inheritance of breast cancer traits.
What does this mean?
Curcumin’s intrinsic pharmacological properties can benefit in prevention and treatment of various benign breast disorders.
Avoid taking it on an empty stomach.
Avoid taking it close to the time of taking any medication.
For the dosage of turmeric for breast cancer, take 6 capsules x 500mg x 3 meals daily of P3000 or 2 tablets x after 2 meals daily of Turmeric Extract + Piperine (TEP).
Consult your health practitioner before taking supplements.
It is in diet is a very safe, but there are a few precautions and possible side effects one should be aware of. High doses of it may cause gastric discomfort. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach. Start with small doses and increase gradually.
This would give your body time to adjust and minimise the possibility of gastric discomfort.
Curcumin supplements should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to any surgical procedure to minimise any bleeding risks.
Curcumin at low doses causes gallbladder contraction. If suffering from gallstones or bile duct obstruction, this contraction may cause pain hence curcumin supplements should be avoided in such conditions.
Curcumin interferes in drug metabolism. Avoid taking curcumin supplements at the same time as any medication, maintain a 3-4 hour gap.
Quite a significant number of research studies have proven that curcumin benefits in breast cancer treatment and prevents metastasis. It is anti-inflammatory property can benefit from mastitis.
Its ability to regulate hormones can help mitigate changes in breast health prior to menses. Turmeric’s anti-microbial action can benefit in any infectious conditions affecting the breast tissue.