Curry and onion extracts cut risk of colon cancer

August 2, 2006 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Curry and onion extracts cut risk of colon cancer

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, compounds found naturally in onions and curry could reduce the risk of colon cancer. This is the first study of its kind to show the benefits of quercetin and curcumin, compounds found naturally in onions and curry, on patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a hereditary disorder characterized by the development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas (polyps) and eventually colon cancer.

In the small study, researchers recruited five patients with FAP and gave each patient 480mg of curcumin and 20 mg of quercetin orally three times a day for six months. The results, published in the August issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, show that the average number of polyps dropped by 60 percent, and the average size dropped by 50 percent. While the exact mechanism of the protective effect is not known, these results are encouraging.

The authors concluded that these latest findings need validation in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. A large, randomized clinical trial is planned as a collaboration between the John Hopkins and University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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