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Lots of things going on

There are quite a lot of things going on right now aren't there? Firstly, I noted with some surprise that the Football Season is kicking off, with Man Utd playing someone tonight. Of course it kicked off a while back, but I hadn't noticed.

The house is coming along slowly, though its quite messy in the Study and Spare room. I think I'm going to have to sit down and work out what really needs to be inside the house, and what can go in the Garage, which will have to be secured with the final Magnetic Contact that I've got for the house alarm.

Then we have my car, its got a buggered exhaust, the electric indicators on the dash don't show the headlights as on, and the backlight on the clock has gone. In short, I think it might be on its last legs. I'm thinking of trading it in for a Ford Focus Zetec Climate 1.6 Automatic, which has a NCAP 5* rating at the highest of its class.

Work is slowly coming along, though I'd rather it just give it all up and sit back and decide what I really want to do with life. IT is getting a bit boring in its current guise here.

I'm racing through Icy's Patricia Conwell books, and I must admit her writings a bit simple. The Key Scarpetto novels are not exactly thrilling according to my standards. But she's mega rich with million bestsellers, and I'm not, so I'll shut up.

And finally, I saw this in the online Guardian today, so thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy the curry's y'all here?

Curry spice may protect against cancer

James Meikle, health correspondent
Tuesday August 9, 2005
The Guardian

Scientists hope they are unravelling the secrets of how a prime curry ingredient helps protect against cancer.

They have found the active agent in turmeric, the spice that colours and flavours many Asian meals, can block a cancer-promoting protein.

They want to follow up tests using cell cultures in the laboratory with trials of tablets on patients.This would involve giving volunteers 500mg tablets of the constituent known as curcumin each day for a week to see whether it inactivates the NF-kappaB protein which plays a key role in Barrett's oesophagus, a pre-cancerous condition, and oesophageal cancer.The work at Swansea University's school of medicine and the Morriston hospital in the city builds on a growing body of worldwide evidence that turmeric, powder from a plant of the ginger family, can help stave off cancers such as leukaemia, prostate cancer, skin cancer and colon cancer.A team in America is hoping human trials could help lead to the development of a drug against Alzheimer's disease, while others hope its anti-inflammatory properties might also protect against Crohn's disease.

Lower levels of some similar conditions among people living in Asia first sparked the interest in investigating whether curry has protective properties. Barrett's oesophagus is a condition in which long-standing inflammation of the gullet leads to changes in the cells lining the gullet. In about 10% of cases, this can lead to cancer.

The Swansea team, which has previously found that increased NF-kappaB has helped tumour cells develop in several cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract, have been investigating how different substances with reputed anti-cancer properties deal with the protein.Resveratrol, a chemical in red wine which a recent Spanish study suggested helped drinkers reduce their chances of getting lung cancer, also blocked the protein, as did vitamin C and a chemical from green tea.

Vitamin E and a chemical found in broccoli were far less successful.

But rushing to the curry-house and washing the meal down with wine, will not be the way forward, says Gareth Jenkins, a lead researcher in the project.Despite the fact that a number of spicy foods have recently also been found to contain illegal and potentially cancerous ingredients such as Sudan 1 and Para Red, too much drinking increases the risk of gullet cancer."We are looking at the activity of just one protein, it is only one part of the whole cancer development process," said Dr Jenkins. "You would not want to encourage people to eat a takeaway every day to get the curcumin because they may die of heart disease."

Indian food contained a lot of fat, he said. Developing supplements taken in tablet form or adding turmeric to less fatty foods would be better.That all remains some way off. For now, the researchers hope they can win ethical permission for a pilot study in humans.This would involve some volunteers with Barrett's oesophagus having curcumin tablets and other dummy treatments a week before they underwent an endoscopy.Their tissues would then be tested for NF-kappaB activity. Laboratory tests have suggested 24-hour treatment of cells with curcumin almost totally blocks the protein.

But even this study might take two years because the researchers did not want to subject patients to more endoscopies than their condition merited."All these patients will have completely different diets, they will be taking different drugs."No one really knows why only 10% get cancer," said Dr Jenkins.Other research teams investigating potential benefits of turmeric have looked at diet of different populations and conducted tests on animals.But there are no satisfactory animal models for oesophageal cancer, according to Dr Jenkins. Professor John Baxter, another of the Swansea research team, said: "The curcumin discovery is a shot in the arm for our research."



  1. Blogger Lord Bargain says @ 10:18 am
    hurrah for the football season blah blah blah.

    I might have a curry whilst watching the United game tonight and feel a whole lot better....
  2. Blogger Bee says @ 10:36 am
    Hurrah for curry! Splendid stuff.

    Patricia Cornwell ... hmm. I've never read any of her books (not really my thing), and I'm not likely to either. See, I have a problem with Patricia Cornwell. A couple of years ago she wrote a book claiming that the late 19th/early 20th century painter Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper. Which is complete and utter nonsense of the first order.

    Her main reason for believing this seems to be that Walter Sickert painted a series of pictures based on a murder that took place in Camden in the early 1900s.

    Following this line of thought to its logical conclusion, I have therefore decided that because she writes about murders, Patricia Cornwell is a murderer, and that she ought to be locked up. Seem fair to you?

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