Latest Study: Curcumin for Prostate Cancer

There is no medicinal herb more researched for cancer more than curcumin.

When doing a regular PubMed search on “curcumin and cancer” retrieves more than five thousand studies.

Even when searching “curcumin and prostate cancer” gets you close to 350 scientific papers.

This potent herb does not only have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which in at by itself is worth taking, but it also has anti-cancer abilities.

I am not exaggerating.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying just taking curcumin that will cure cancer. It’s not that simple.

And this is the latest study an example.

Latest Human Study on Curcumin and Prostate Cancer

About 100 men were randomized, in a placebo-controlled fashion for prostate cancer.

Here are the details:

  • There were two groups of patients with prostate cancer who received intermittent androgen deprivation (IAD).
  • Participants who finished the first on-treatment period of IAD were randomized into a curcumin or placebo group.
  • The patients took oral curcumin (1440 mg/day, two pills of 240mg each, 3x /d) or placebo for six months and were followed up until the beginning of the second on-treatment.

The primary end-point was the duration of the first off-treatment. The secondary end-points were change in PSA and testosterone levels during 6 months, PSA progression rate, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores at 6 months. Safety assessments included adverse event, adverse drug reaction, and serious adverse event.

In other words, this study tried to determine if oral curcumin could stop cancer progression in patients with prostate cancer receiving intermittent androgen deprivation therapy (IAD) by prolonging the second treatment of ADT.


There was no significant difference in the off‐treatment duration between the two groups. However, the group of patients with PSA progression was (statistically) significantly lower in the curcumin group than in the placebo group.

There are several reasons curcumin did not produce an anti-cancer effect, in my opinion:

  1. No one botanical, vitamin, supplement or even medical treatment that will EVER create an anti-cancer environment without other essential nutrients and without, exercise, good food, and optimal sleep. In many instances, medical treatment for prostate cancer is necessary and combining such treatment with clean food, physical movement, and targeted dietary supplements increase the odds of not only survival but improved quality of life.

The other reasons’s the study author admitted to;

2. If curcumin had been administered for a longer time, significant changes could have been observed in the off‐treatment time.

3. Another possible reason to fail to show the difference of primary endpoint is the relatively low dose of oral curcumin to affect clinical outcomes.

In one study in a group of patients with colon cancer showed 3600mg a day had anti-cancer properties suggesting that dosing matters.

Lastly, I don’t think curcumin falsely lowers PSA. In other words, there has been no evidence, nor through my clinical experience has curcumin lower PSA, but prostate cancer worsened. One of many mechanisms to how curcumin works are by reducing Nfkb, a pro-inflammatory marker that can contribute to cancer formation. Lower pro-inflammatory markers lower PSA.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a component in the Indian spice turmeric, and it’s a cousin of ginger – another highly protective herb. Curcumin causes the yellow color in your curry dish. Tumeric is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Turmeric’s other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin. Ideally, when consuming curcuminoids, you would want all three health-promoting curcuminoids: curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and dimethoxy curcumin. I know, it’s getting a little technical, but the bottom line is to get enough of this yellow staining compound from spicing your food and from supplementation.

Curcumin during Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Lastly, curcumin is an excellent herb to take during radiation therapy for cancer as well. That’s right. I know virtually all radiation oncologists would recommend against taking supplements during radiation treatment. This recommendation is based on the flawed theory that anti-oxidant supplements are taken during radiation treatment, it may protect cancer cells from the radiation treatment.

In fact, curcumin makes cancer cells more radiosensitive to radiation therapy. You are reading correctly. Taking curcumin can help cancer cells be more vulnerable to radiation therapy.

How much Curcumin to Take

Optimal amounts ranges of curcumin vary from 400mg to 4000mg a day. Science daily has suggested up 8 grams a day (8000mg) is safe. Typically, the more aggressive the health challenge, the more curcumin should be consumed. The optimal amount of curcumin consumption has not been properly studied yet.

I consume about 1000 to 2000 mg curcumin every day in a supplement for disease prevention, reduce soreness from workouts and for prostate health. And you should too.

As always, when using botanicals or any form of natural medicine seek the help of naturopathic, functional medicine or integrative doctor.

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