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Also known as: Indian saffron, curcumin.

Potential uses: It's thought that turmeric, an antioxidant, can reduce the risk of many cancers as well as infections and inflammation.

Usual dose: Turmeric is a spice used in cooking (in many curries and other Asian/Indian dishes). Some dietary supplements are on the market, but there is no typical dose.

Are there any risks? The amount eaten in foods is well-tolerated by most people. The side effects of large doses may include allergic response and stomach upset.

What does the research say? Laboratory and animal studies strongly suggest that turmeric may be able to reduce the growth of cancer cells or reduce cancer risk. But no studies have been done in people.

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