British researchers are investigating whether curcumin, a compound found in the curry spice turmeric, can help fight off colon cancer. The team first noted that Indians and Pakistanis living in the UK were 70 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than non-Asians. They’ve since found in laboratory studies that curcumin can disrupt the growth of colon cancer cells, and animal studies suggest that the compound can impair development of colon cancer by 60 percent. The investigators also reported that animals with established colon cancer that were treated with a combination of chemotherapy and curcumin had over a 100-fold reduction in cancer cells. In the newly implemented human study, the researchers are giving capsules containing curcumin to a group of patients with advanced colon cancer who are also being treated with a combination of chemotherapy agents. Of the 40 patients to take part, 30 will get curcumin plus chemo and the other 10 will get the chemo alone. The amount of curcumin being used in the study is equivalent to what you would get by eating two big servings of curry daily. The investigators are hoping that the curcumin will increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and possibly help reduce its side effects.