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Polyp Prevention

Factors in Polyp Prevention

There are literally thousands of chemicals and substances in the foods we eat. Each person eats different types and amounts of food, so doing medical studies to determine which are important is difficult. Nevertheless, certain substances have been found to be important.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

People who eat diets rich in fruits and vegetables seem to have a lower incidence of many cancers including colon cancer. The recommendation is to eat five portions of fruits and/or vegetables each day.

2. Calcium

Calcium is some way regulates the growth of the cells that line the inside of the colon. This may be why medical studies are beginning to show that people who get 1000-1500 mg of calcium a day in their diet have less colon cancer. This level of calcium (from milk, dairy products, vegetables or supplements) is currently recommended for healthy bones. It may also benefit the colon.

3. Red meat and Saturated fat

Saturated fat may be broken down in the body to carcinogens which, at least in animals, can lead to colon cancer. Saturated fat is found in many prepared foods such as pastries and sauces and in meats. A significant reduction in saturated fat intake is recommended for many health benefits.

The adult body needs perhaps only 50 grams of protein a day. Much of it can be obtained from plant foods. But meat tastes so good. We humans are true omnivores and given a choice, most of us will pick the tasty, fat dripping, red meat every time.

But for colon cancer prevention, it is best to modify the intake. Take smaller portions, perhaps a piece of meat about the size of a deck of cards. Reduce the frequency of red meat ingestion to 3 or 4 times a week.

4. Smoking and Excessive Alcohol

Smokers and those who use excessive alcohol do have increased risk of colon cancer.

5. Aspirin

In the past, it has been demonstrated that aspirin was able to reduce the risk of recurrent polyps in the colon and we know that regular aspirin, as little as two times a week, has shown a beneficial reduction in risk. Of course, aspirin should not be used unless there is concurrence with your physician as bleeding tendencies can occur with its use.