Turmeric and milk thistle fight colon cancer

Turmeric and milk thistle fight colon cancer

Turmeric and milk thistle fight colon cancer and may be a future treatment, according to a new study from Saint Louis University.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, one of the most researched spices in the world. Silymarin is a component of milk thistle, which has been used to treat liver diseases.

The researchers focused on these two compounds and how they affected colon cancer cells in a laboratory.

They found treating the cells initially with curcumin, then following up with silymarin was much more effective than treating with each compounds separately.

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,” said Uthayashanker Ezekiel, Ph.D., corresponding author and associate professor of biomedical laboratory science at Saint Louis University.

Phytochemicals may offer alternate therapeutic approaches to cancer treatments and avoid toxicity problems and side effects that chemotherapy can cause,” he added.

Ezekiel also noted that the research is just the beginning, and that there is much more work ahead to determine if the curcumin and silymarin combination is a suitable colon cancer treatment.

Concentrations of curcumin and silymarin that are too high could be harmful to people,” he said. “We still have much to learn, and for now, it’s so much safer to add a little spice to your diet and get your curcumin from foods that contain turmeric, such as curry, rather than taking high doses of the compound.”

The study showing that turmeric and milk thistle fight colon cancer was published in the Journal of Cancer.

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1. “Plant Compounds Give One, Two Punch to Colon Cancer.” Saint Louis University : SLU. Saint Louis University : SLU, n.d. Web. 25 July 2016.
2. “Curcumin Sensitizes Silymarin to Exert Synergistic Anticancer Activity in Colon Cancer Cells.” Journal of Cancer. Journal of Cancer, n.d. Web. 25 July 2016.

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