A Louisiana researcher has a grant to help produce a potentially cancer preventing gum.
Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan, with the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, received a $50,000 grant from the LSU System's LIFT2 Program.
Nathan says she will use the funds to help produce a gum that contains Curcumin.
"It has the potential, I think, to generate a large market opportunity in the prevention of cancer."
Curcumin is a food substance, found in the spice turmeric, that reportedly has cancer-preventing qualities. Nathan says Curcumin is in one of the top selling supplements on the market.
"There's been a lot of literature showing that it prevents, not only cancer, but also Alzheimer's and diabetes because it is an anti-oxidant as well."
One problem with Curcumin is that it is not absorbed well in the stomach. Nathan hopes this gum will allow for direct absorption of the substance and help prevent head and neck cancers. She says, once the gum is manufactured, they will enroll 16 healthy volunteers for a clinical trial.
"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."