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November 2022
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Antioxidants Cancel Out Cancer

Study Shows Antioxidants Inhibit Polyp Growth in Colon

Italian researchers believe antioxidant supplementation can reduce the development of cancerous polyps.

Italian researchers believe antioxidant supplementation can reduce the development of cancerous polyps.

The array of benefits antioxidants provide continue to grow, much to the chagrin of skeptical “scientists” who believe antioxidants are bunkum and don’t provide any material health benefit.  Well I wonder what they’ll think of the latest study that finds antioxidants improve colon health.

Not much, I’m sure.

Before I get into the study, colon health is a lot like the electricity when it goes out; we don’t appreciate it until we lose it or have a problem with it.  That’s certainly how people with ulcerative colitis feel.  Ulcerative colitis, a specific type of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), occurs when the lining of the colon becomes inflamed, leading to all sorts of excretory and digestive system problems like bloody diarrhea, painful gas and bloating.  Many medicinal treatments exist for ulcerative colitis, but they’re very expensive and often loaded with side-effects (e.g. common long-term side effects from ulcerative colitis medications include acne, insomnia, weight gain, and changes in mood).

And as much of a pain ulcerative colitis is to live with (literally and figuratively), at least it’s not a deadly condition, unlike colon cancer.  While colon cancer mortality rates have dropped, it still has a fairly high five-year mortality rate (about 40 percent).

But with the help of antioxidants, the colon cancer mortality rate can come down even further.

The researchers of the antioxidant study supplied approximately 400 participants with either a placebo or a super-duper antioxidant supplement.  It was “super-duper” because it contained a veritable treasure trove of antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc.  All the participants had a history of cancerous polyp development (all of whom had them removed via surgery).

After supplementing with these antioxidants for a short time, the researchers found that it paid dividends almost immediately; the development of cancerous colon polyps reduced by 40 percent compared to the placebo group.  What’s more, this diminishment in polyp development continued for 13 years, the extent of time the researchers devoted to follow-up.

The study was conducted by researchers from Genoa, Italy’s National Institute for Cancer Research.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why the heck I brought up ulcerative colitis when the study’s findings found it to be effective in cancerous polyp development in the colon.  Well, besides the fact that ulcerative colitis is a condition that concerns the colon, it’s a condition that also increases the risk for colon cancer development.

People with and without ulcerative colitis should be getting plenty of antioxidants through their diet, but there are other supplements you can take both to prevent and treat ulcerative colitis.  Vitamin K—one of two fat-soluble vitamins not supplied to the participants—has been shown to helps heal the lining of the colon.  You can dose with vitamin K directly or get it from rich vitamin K herbal sources like alfalfa.  Being deficient in vitamin K is a natural side-effect of ulcerative colitis.

Something else that’s deficient in people with ulcerative colitis is iron.  Iron is traditionally found in meat sources, but vegetables and legume sources like spinach and chickpeas are good ways to increase levels of iron in the blood.

Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” 4th Ed. 2006. New York: Avery

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