Indian Food Can Help Fight Colon Cancer?

Curries heighten response of colon cancer drug

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Turmeric, a spice belonging to the ginger root family and commonly found in Indian cuisine, has been shown to help fight colon cancer, according to a new study.

Turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, multiplies the therapeutic effects of anti-inflammatory drugs used to fight colon cancer. Turmeric, when used with a popular anti-inflammatory drug, alleviates the inflammatory response caused when cancer takes hold in the body.

Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari of Tel Aviv University's School of Public Health at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine said more testing is needed, but suggests curcumin with a lower dose of the (highly toxic) anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat colon cancer could potentially lead to a better prognosis.

The Tel Aviv University team previously conducted in vitro and in vivo experiments and found that curcumin inhibits an enzyme known as COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2), which is believed to cause inflammation.

About 102,900 cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2010, and about 51,370 people died from colorectal cancers within the same year.

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Review Date: 
March 3, 2011
Last Updated:
March 4, 2011