Colon Cancer Meets It’s Match: Mother Nature

While colon cancer could arguably be considered a natural outcome of specific genetic, environmental, and other conditions and causes, there are natural preventive and possibly curative measures on the horizon that are also gifts from nature.

Colon cancer risk typically increases with age – 90 percent of the cases occur in individuals who are age 50 or older. Additionally, there are lifestyle factors that greatly contribute to the odds of getting colon cancer: overconsumption of fatty and processed foods, smoking, obesity, sedentary habits, and a lack of fruits, vegetables, and fiber in the diet.

This review showed that natural ingredients stopped colon cancer development and growth in many ways: they interrupted the cellular growth cycle of cancer, they inhibited the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors, they reduce the inflammation that can “kick off” the cycle of cellular damage and mutation, they interfere with the cellular pathways in the body that create tumors, and they directly stop cancer by killing cancer cells.

Some of the ingredients reviewed included silibinin from milk thistle, inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), and curcumin from turmeric, to name a few. As to the curcumin, the researchers mention that a mixture of curcuminoids are the best bet for the widest spectrum of cancer fighting activity. Future research will certainly add to the knowledge regarding curcumin – and other – natural ingredients that can stop colon cancer.


Rajamanickam S, Agarwal R. Natural products and colon cancer: current status and future prospects. Drug Dev Res. 2008 Nov 1;69(7):460-471.

Carcinogenesis is a multistage process consisting of initiation, promotion and progression phases. Thus, the multistage sequence of events has many phases for prevention and intervention. Chemoprevention, a novel approach for controlling cancer, involves the use of specific natural products or synthetic chemical agents to reverse, suppress or prevent premalignancy before the development of invasive cancer. Several natural products, such as, grains, nuts, cereals, spices, fruits, vegetables, beverages, medicinal plants and herbs and their various phytochemical constituents including, phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, alkaloids, nitrogen containing as well as organosulfur compounds confer protective effects against wide range of cancers including colon cancer. Since diet has an important role in the etiology of colon cancer, dietary chemoprevention received attention for colon cancer prevention. However, identification of an agent with chemopreventive potential requires in vitro studies, efficacy and toxicity studies in animal models before embarking on human clinical trials. A brief introduction about colon cancer and the role of some recent natural products in colon cancer chemoprevention with respect to multiple molecular mechanisms in various in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies are described in this review.

Link to complete review