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Curry, onions may help cut colon cancer

BALTIMORE, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say a pill combining chemicals in turmeric and onions reduces both the size and number of precancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract.

Johns Hopkins researchers say the pill contained chemicals found in turmeric, a spice used in curries, and squercetin, an antioxidant found in onions.

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The study, published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found the average number of polyps dropped 60.4 percent, and the average size dropped by 50.9 percent.

A research team was led by Dr. Francis M. Giardiello of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa of Johns Hopkins and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

"We believe this is the first proof of principle that these substances have significant effects in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis," says Giardiello.

Familial adenomatous polyposis is a disorder that runs in families and is characterized by the development of hundreds of polyps and eventual colon cancer. Recently, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been used as a treatment, but they can cause side effects, including gastrointestinal ulcerations and bleeding, according to Giardiello.

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