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Louisiana Doctor Receives Grant To Study Cancer Preventing Gum

Chewing Gum
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Could cancer prevention come down to something as simple as chewing gum? If one Louisiana Doctor’s research pans out, it could really be that  simple. Naturally the hypothesis of LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport researcher Dr. Cheri-Ann Nathan will need testing.

Testing in the world of medicine cost money. At least part of that money will come in the form of a $50-thousand dollar grant from LSU Systems LIFT 2 program.

What I find so fascinating about this particular idea is the use of chewing gum to deliver the medical treatment. Why not just give a patient a pill or capsule? That has to do with the way the body absorbs a substance known as curcumin. Curcumin is found in the spice Tumeric, you might have some of that in your spice rack right now.

Studies have shown that curcumin is a natural cancer preventative, however the body does not absorb it very well through the stomach. Hence the idea to try chewing gum. The chewing gum might allow for a more direct absorption in to the body via the mouth.

Dr. Nathan explained to the Louisiana Radio Network how her study would work,

“They’ll first get the chewing gum.  And then, a few weeks later once the curcumin has been eliminated from their body, they’ll get the capsule with the exact same dose.  And we will compare whether we got much higher levels of curcumin with the chewing gum compared to the capsule.”

This would be a big first step in understanding how to deliver the medicines our bodies need to defeat disease. The study is currently seeking 16 healthy volunteers to be involved in the experiment.


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