Milk Thistle and Curcumin in combination have strong effect on colorectal cancer cells

Milk Thistle and Curcumin in combination have strong effect on colorectal cancer cells

Researchers from the University of Saint Louis have shown that combining two herbs, milk thistle and curcumin, can be very powerful in the treatment of colorectal cancer (June 23rd, 2016, Journal of Cancer).

"The combination of phytochemicals from the two herbs inhibited colon cancer cells from multiplying and spreading,” said Uthayashanker Ezekiel, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical laboratory science. “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," he said.

Milk thistle has an active flavonoid called silymarin, which is known to be able to protect and rebuild liver cells. It is an antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compound, with epigenetic (cancer cell correcting) properties. It has been shown capable of protecting the liver from cancer.

Turmeric posseses the active ingredient curcumin, also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with epigenetic benefits. It is protective of the liver and through its action against microbes, highly useful in cases of colorectal cancer.

It is likely that the doubling of anti-inflammatory benefits (given colorectal cancer in driven by inflammation), along with the double epigenetic benefits is at work.

A second study recently showed that the two herbs together had a strong effect anti-inflammatory on gut problems such as IBS and colitis, especially in conjunction with sunshine and vitamin D.

The Saint Louis study was a ‘preliminary cell study, with more work needed before the combination might be widely used. 



2016 Research
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