Combined Nutraceuticals: A Novel Approach to Colitis-Associated Colorectal Cancer?

Nutr Cancer. 2019;71(2):199-206. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2019.1578391. Epub 2019 Mar 12.


Ulcerative colitis is an unremitting and lifelong inflammatory bowel disease that is increasing in prevalence worldwide. Patients display various clinical symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue. The etiology of ulcerative colitis remains unknown and the current pharmaceutical treatments are variably effective and not curative, highlighting the need for improved therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, patients with ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Some naturally sourced agents, named nutraceuticals, have been identified to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Of particular interest is Emu Oil, grape seed extract and Japanese Kampo medicine. Previously, Emu Oil has protected and repaired intestinal damage in models of gastrointestinal diseases including colitis and colitis-associated colorectal cancer. Additionally, grape seed extract possesses anticancer properties in vitro. Moreover, Kampo medicine, composed of herbal ingredients, is widely used in Japan for the treatment of various medical conditions and has demonstrated efficacy in targeting cancer cells in vitro. Nutraceuticals in combination have not yet been widely investigated in a setting of colitis-associated colorectal cancer. Investigation into the efficacy of Emu Oil combined with other nutraceuticals, including grape seed extract and Kampo medicine, is warranted as they may provide a novel approach to conventional colitis and colorectal cancer management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Colitis / complications*
  • Colitis / diet therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Grape Seed Extract / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Kampo / methods*
  • Oils / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Oils
  • emu Oil