An everyday ingredient used to make curry could have special cancer-fighting properties, scientists working at the University of Leicester believe.
Research carried out into the potential benefits of curcumin, an extract from the root of the spice, found that it helps to improve the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy treatments.
While this has already been shown through a number of previous studies, this latest research also revealed that turmeric may also play a key role in preventing the return of cancerous cells, particularly those that cause the common colorectal form of the disease.
Writing up the findings, lead researcher Dr Karen Brown explained that these latest findings could help doctors determine what types of treatment to use for specific types of cancer.
"We hope that our work will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms through which curcumin targets resistant cells in tumours," she said.
According to Cancer Research UK, improved diets could help prevent around 35 per cent of all new cases of colorectal cancers, which accounts for the third-largest number of all cancer deaths in the Western world.