Research suggests turmeric compounds could help fight or prevent colon cancer.

Non-Curcumin Turmeric Compounds That May Help Block Colorectal Cancer

Turmeric contains phytochemical compounds and nutrients in addition to curcumin that research suggests can have beneficial effects against colorectal cancer.

These include:

Table VI.31: Turmeric's Phytochemical and Nutrient Effects in Colorectal Cancer


  • Helps regulate the immune system response and may prevent development of colon cancer. (vi.155)
  • Detoxifies carcinogens. (vi.155)
  • Reduces levels of potentially carcinogenic bile acids(vi.288)


HDAC, a molecule that can make cancer-promoting changes to DNA. (vi.140)

EUGENOL (vi.74)


FARNESOL (vi.110)

Colorectal carcinoma cell growth. (vi.111)

Development of colon cancer by blocking carcinogen activity, including damage to DNA(vi.111)

FISETIN (vi.79)

Activation of inflammatory transcription factors (NF-κB and β-catenin). (vi.94)

Growth cycle proteins (e.g., cyclin D1). (vi.94)

Inflammatory COX-2 enzyme and its metabolite, PGE2(vi.94)

Cancer-promoting growth factor receptors. (vi.94)

Metalloprotease enzymes that play a role in the development of colon cancer (i.e., MMP-7). (vi.94)

Proteins that help cancer cells survive (e.g., Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL) by inhibiting apoptosis(vi.94)

Proteins that stimulate apoptosis to help get rid of defective cells. (vi.94)

Apoptosis in colon cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. (vi.94)

FOLATE (vi.144-145)

  • Eating foods high in folate linked to lower risk of developing colorectal cancer in U.S. population studies involving close to 100,000 study participants. (vi.145)
  • Multivitamins with folate in them may reduce the risk of colon cancer up to 75%. However, taking high amounts of folic acid (form folate takes in the body) supplements was linked to metastasis in colorectal cancer. (vi.145155)

GERANIOL (vi.112)

Resistance to chemotherapy. (vi.124)

Toxic effects of 5-fluorouracil. (vi.124)

Effectiveness of chemo on tumor growth. (vi.124)

Growth of colon cancer cells. (vi.154)

Volume of tumors. (vi.154)

Survival time. (vi.124)

LIMONENE (vi.74)

DNA damage from toxins in the colon. (vi.82)

Incidence of colon cancer caused by toxic chemicals. (vi.102)


Growth of colon cancer cells. (vi.194)

Kills several different types of colon cancer cells. (vi.194)

Enzymes that promote metastasis of colon tumors. (vi.78)


Clinical Trial

In large population studies conducted in Europe, eating 1-7 servings/week of onions, which are particularly rich in quercetin, was linked with lower rates of colorectal cancer. (vi.250)

These studies are supported by research that shows quercetin has the following effects on factors that contribute to colorectal cancer:

Epigenetic and toxin activity that promotes development of cancer. (vi.147)

NF-κB activation. (vi.147)

Tumor cell growth. (vi.131)

When combined with curcumin reduced number and size of precancerous polyps in the intestines and rectum of patients with FAP. (vi.88)

Expression and activity of COX-2 inflammatory enzymes that promote cancer development and growth. (vi.201)

Proteins that prevent apoptosis of damaged colon cells, such as Bcl-2. (vi.201)

Death of precancerous and cancerous cells. (vi.194201)


Proliferation of colon tumor cells. (vi.84)

VITAMIN C (vi.71)

Potent antioxidant that quenches DNA-damaging free radicals. (vi.270)

Blocks formation of cancer-causing substances from nitrates in processed meats. (vi.270)

Small proteins produced as part of the immune system response to illness or injury. (vi.3787)
Proteins that promote cell proliferation. (vi.4681)
First responders that trigger gene activity. (vi.39)
Stimulates production of proteins that help cancer cells survive. (vi.94)
Natural mechanism the body has to get rid of diseased and dysfunctional cells. (vi.106)
Specifically, MMP-2. (vi.78)

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