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Disclaimer:  This information is not meant as direct medical advice. Readers should always review options with their local medical team. This is the sole opinion of Dr. Meakin based on literature review at the time of the blog and may change as new evidence evolves.

Supplements and Cancer

Questions from the Clinic:

Should I add this supplement to my program now? If so, how do I tell if it is working?


Curcumin is the principal polyphenol found in the rhizomes of turmeric – a flowering plant from the ginger family (1). Commonly incorporated into curries, tea, and cosmetics, curcumin functions as a natural, non-toxic colorant and preservative (2). Although its medicinal properties have been recognized since antiquity, scientists have only recently begun to unravel the compound’s mechanisms of action inside the human body. Many of curcumin’s therapeutic benefits, documented in a litany of chronic diseases, mostly stem from its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (3). These properties may explain the considerable attention curcumin has received from researchers in the context of cancer. In a bibliographic search of studies conducted between 1924 and 2018, investigators noted that 37% of all papers written on curcumin specifically studied the compound’s effect on various cancers (1).

Figure 1: Curcumin has long been recognized to have medicinal properties and can be found in many Asian-inspired dishes.  Image courtesy of