The low incidence of colon cancer in India is often attributed to natural antioxidants such as curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, a spice used in curry powder. Recent studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, along with silymarin, a component of milk thistle, may be effective in treating colon cancer.
“Phytochemicals may offer alternate therapeutic approaches to cancer treatments and avoid toxicity problems and side effects that chemotherapy can cause,” says corresponding author Uthayashanker Ezekiel, Associate Professor at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
Researchers found that treating cancerous cells with curcumin and silymarin was more effective in fighting cancer then using either phytochemical alone.
“The combination of phytochemicals inhibited colon cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. In addition, when the colon cancer cells were pre-exposed to curcumin and then treated with silymarin, the cells underwent a high amount of cell death,” says Ezekiel.
The study is still ongoing and more research needs to be carried out, but this spells hope for people suffering from colon cancer.References