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Turmeric spice ''kills cancer cells'' -- BBC.

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KUWAIT, Oct 28 (KUNA) - Scientists discovered an extract found in the turmeric spice capable of killing off cancer cells, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Wednesday.The chemical - curcumin - is renowned for its healing powers and is already being tested as a treatment for arthritis and even dementia. Experts at the Cork Cancer Research Center tested curcumin in the labs and found out it can destroy gullet cancer cells. Such finding helps doctors find new treatments. Dr Sharon McKenna and her team found curcumin started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours; the cells began to digest themselves after the curcumin "triggered lethal cell death signals," the BBC said.. "Scientists have known for a long time that natural compounds have the potential to treat faulty cells that have become cancerous and we suspected that curcumin might have therapeutic value," the BBC quoted Dr McKenna as saying. On her part, Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said "This is interesting research which opens up the possibility that natural chemicals found in turmeric could be developed into new treatments for esophageal cancer." "Rates of esophageal cancer rates have gone up by more than a half since the 70s and this is thought to be linked to rising rates of obesity, alcohol intake and reflux disease so finding ways to prevent this disease is important too." Around 7,800 people are annually diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the UK which is considered the sixth most common cause of cancer death and accounts for around five percent of all UK cancer deaths.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Oct 28, 2009
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