What is Curcumin?
If you’re a fan of curry, or an avid cook, you are familiar with turmeric: it’s the substance that makes curry yellow. It’s considered a spice but it’s also a bioflavonoid which just means that it’s naturally occurring in food and can offer some protection against cancer. The real cancer fighter is the curcumin that’s found in turmeric. There are currently a lot of trials on the benefits of curcumin and what it can do to cancer.
How Does Curcumin Work Against Cancer?
So far, we know a few things from the studies being conducted about this spice:
- It Causes Apoptosis: There’s that word again. Curcumin causes cells to undergo their normal death pattern (cancer cells do not die, they just continue to replicate themselves).
- It Starves Cancer: Like luteolin, curcumin inhibits the growth of new blood vessels on tumors (which is how the cancer feeds itself).
- It Slows Cell Division: This pretty much says it all. It slows the bad cancer cells from dividing and making more of themselves.
- It Oxidates: In a normal meal, curcumin provides antioxidants that stop cell damage (this is a good thing, especially for women who are always trying to look younger). However, to fight cancer, taking turmeric in a higher dose causes oxidation. The oxidation produces free radicals that can kill off the cancer cells but keep healthy cells intact.
- It Stops Cancer Spread: The worst thing to hear when a person or a pet is diagnosed with cancer is that it has spread. Cancer spread is called metastasis and it is much more difficult to fight once it has spread to the organs or other body parts. There are molecules on cancer cells that help it to spread. Curcumin can stop these “spread molecules” from being produced.
All this positive cancer-fighting stuff sounds awesome but the jury is still out as to whether or not it can do all of these things if you eat it or take it as a supplement. On its own, it does have anti-inflammatory properties so if you or your dog is sore, turmeric provides some pain relief. It can also help with nausea.
<h2>Giving Curcumin to Your Dog</h2>
Before you decide to give turmeric/curcumin to your dog, talk to your vet. The best way to buy it right now is in powder form. Make sure that it is 95% curcumin. Give it to your dog an hour before or after food. It’s best on an empty stomach but it your dog is poo-pooing it, it can be given with a little bit of food.
Toy/mini breeds: 50 mg three times per day
Dogs up to 35 pounds: 100 mg three times per day
36-60 pounds: 200 mg three times per day
60+ pounds: 250 mg three times per day
Again, it is so important to talk to your vet before you start administering curcumin. Diabetic dogs and dogs with gall bladder or liver problems may have issues. Dogs already on medications should also be carefully supervised by your vet.