Tumeric is a spice, from the ginger family. Curcumin is found in tumeric and is considered a natural phenol. There is some scientific evidence that “curcumin may have anti-inflamatory and anticancer activity” but research is ongoing.
Current research suggests that when taken orally curcumin may inhibit gastrointestinal oxidative DNA damage. Curcumin can also increase the cellular glutathione (master antioxidant) levels.
In addition, curcumin has been found to induce apoptosis (cell death) in “cultured cancer cells.” Research continues on the potential of curcumin for cancer therapy and cancer prevention.
Although, curcumin has been found to be generally safe, those taking certain prescription medications, especially anticoagulants, should consult a physician before using curcumin. In addition, it is probably a good idea to consult with a physician before taking supplements.