ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Eating Free Range
Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
EYE CARE, VISION
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
Sleep and Do Better
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
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Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth

(HealthDay News) -- Compounds derived from two spices -- pepper and turmeric -- could help prevent breast cancer by limiting the growth of stem cells that promote tumor growth, a new study shows.

When curcumin (from turmeric) and piperine (from black peppers) were applied to breast cells in the laboratory, the number of stem cells decreased, but there was no change in normal cells, say researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study appears online in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

"If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of cells with potential to form tumors," the study's lead author, Dr. Madhuri Kakarala, a clinical lecturer in internal medicine at Michigan's medical school and a research investigator at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, said in a university news release.

The researchers indicated that the finding that curcumin and piperine are effective against stem cells but not toxic to normal breast tissue has important implications for women.

"Women at high risk of breast cancer right now can choose to take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene for prevention, but most women won't take these drugs because there is too much toxicity," Kakarala said. "The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity."

Previous studies have looked at the two dietary compounds as potential cancer treatments, but this was the first to suggest that they may prevent cancer by targeting stem cells.

The finding came with a warning, however. The compounds were tested only in a laboratory and not in people, and the researchers cautioned against anyone adding curcumin or piperine supplements to their diets.

SOURCES: University of Michigan, news release, Dec. 8, 2009 Published on: December 11, 2009