A new study published in the Journal of Cancer concluded that a preliminary study finds curcumin, an active ingredient in spicy curry dishes, and silymarin, a compound of milk thistle, inhibited the spread of colon cancer cells and increased cancer cell death. Researchers studied a line of colon cancer cells in a laboratory model and found that treating the cells initially with curcumin, and then with silymarin was more effective in killing/inhibiting spread of cancer cells than treating cancer cells with either photochemical alone. They said “The combination of photochemicals 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.” They continued “Phytochemicals may offer alternate therapeutic approaches to cancer treatments and avoid toxicity problems and side effects that chemotherapy can cause.”
However, researchers reiter4ated that the results are preliminary lab results and more research is needed. Researchers need tos tudy how the curcumin and silymarin impact the actions of molecules, such as genetic transcription and expression, that cause cells to change. Thereafter, the chemicals would be studied in animal models and then in humans. They say also that concentrations of curcumin and silymarin that are too high might harm people so there is more to olearn. For now, they recommend sprinkling a little spice to food.