It’s troubling that more young people than ever before are developing colon cancer.
But it’s certainly NOT surprising.
In my view, this spike probably strongly relates to FIVE key dietary risk factors…which you can—and MUST—control!
Plus, according to a new study, the increase might also relate to some common prescription drugs. In fact, some people who have taken these drugs have up to an 800 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer. (I’ll reveal more about that in tomorrow’s Daily Dispatch. So, be sure to tune back in.)
But, today, let’s focus on those FIVE dietary factors. Then, I’ll tell you about some things to AVOID, too…
Five ways EVERYONE can reduce colon cancer risk
Researchers recently reviewed 80 studies on colon cancer published between 1980 and 2019. And they walked away with a very clear conclusion that you CAN reduce your colon cancer risk, no matter what your age.
Here are the top-five dietary approaches to reducing colon cancer risk that they identified, in order of their benefit from least to greatest…
1.) Take in more B vitamins. The researchers found a link between folic acid, which is one of the B vitamins, and colon cancer risk. Specifically, those who took folic acid had up to 15 percent lower risk of developing the disease.
The analysis didn’t pinpoint the effective minimum dose required to achieve this protection. But it’s bound to be more than the measly Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). So, as always, I recommend you take a daily, high-quality B vitamin complex—which contains all eight B vitamins, not just folic acid.
2.) Enjoy more dairy. In this analysis, eating dairy appeared to lower colon cancer risk by up to 19 percent. Unfortunately, here again, there was no recommendation about the amount of dairy you need to consume to gain this benefit.
However, we do know that people who live around the Mediterranean (and follow a traditional Mediterranean-type diet) typically enjoy eating a serving of full-fat dairy (such as yogurt or cheese) at every meal. And you too should adopt this healthy dietary habit!
After all, full-fat dairy is rich in calcium. And, as we first learned back in the mid-1980s at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), calcium is a key factor for reducing colon cancer risk.
Just remember, you should ONLY get your calcium through your diet—not through supplements. (Taking a calcium supplement can lead to hardening of the arteries and other serious health problems.) That’s why enjoying full-fat dairy regularly as part of a healthy, balanced diet is the way to go.
3.) Consider a daily, low-dose aspirin. The researchers found that men and women who took a daily, low-dose of aspirin (75 mg/day) had a 14 percent lower colon cancer risk. And those who took a higher dose of 325 mg/per day had a 29 percent lower risk!
As you know, aspirin gets a green light from me because it’s an inexpensive, naturally derived, over-the-counter (OTC), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Plus, it’s been safely used by millions and millions of Americans for more than a century.
Of course, big pharma and some mainstream “experts” try to discredit aspirin because it may cause gastrointestinal (GI) irritation and bleeding. But when taken properly, it has a very low risk of bleeding for most people. (Of course, if you’re concerned about GI effects, talk with your healthcare provider. And consider taking a buffered aspirin—which includes an antacid.)
4.) Keep up with the “right” kind of fiber. The analysis also showed an association between dietary fiber and up to a 43 percent lower colon cancer risk.
But this finding comes with a HUGE caveat for me…
Remember, as I reported in the very first issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter, the guidelines on fiber are complicated (“Dietary fiber: Cancer cause or cure?”).
And it’s FAR better to get your fiber from eating five fruits and vegetables a day (next on the list) rather than from fiber pills or ultra-processed food products with “added fiber.” Those products can be dangerous for GI health—and even RAISE colon cancer risk!
It’s an important distinction not known or understood by mainstream doctors or most “natural-know-it-alls.” But—now YOU know.
5.) Enjoy more fruits and vegetables. According to this analysis, the biggest protection against colon cancer…at a staggering 52 percent lower risk…came from consuming more fruits and vegetables.
Again, there was no guidance given for how many servings a day you need to consume to gain the benefit. But as always, I simply suggest you enjoy five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Three ways to tamp down colon cancer risk
Now that we’ve covered the top-five additions you should make to your diet to lower your colon cancer risk, let’s talk about a few things you should REMOVE from your life for added protection against colon cancer—and chronic disease, in general…
1.) Ultra-processed foods. In the same study from earlier, the researchers found that eating ultra-processed foods seemed to increase colon cancer risk by up to 21 percent. This makes a lot of sense, as other studies show eating a lot of junk food increases your risk of many other types of chronic disease…and is even linked to a higher all-cause mortality rate!
2.) Probiotic pills. It’s a great irony that mainstream doctors are skeptical of the right, science-backed dietary supplements to support colon (and overall) health. But they’re quick to prescribe all the WRONG supplements—including probiotics.
Remember, scientific studies show that probiotic supplements simply don’t work to improve colon health…despite what the mainstream thinks. Plus, they can even cause great harm to the brain!
Now, don’t get me wrong…you SHOULD support your microbiome (the environment in your GI tract where billions of healthy bacteria thrive), because it affects your overall health, immunity, and well-being.
But you’re far better off following a sensible, Mediterranean-type diet filled with prebiotic foods that feed and nourish the healthy bacteria already present in your GI tract than taking a potentially dangerous supplement!
(You can learn more about the importance of prebiotic foods in the June 2020 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Listen to your gut: A balanced microbiome leads to a longer, healthier life”]. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to become one.)
3.) Antibiotics. There’s no question that taking antibiotic drugs wreaks havoc on your GI health. (That’s why the mainstream tries to fix the mess they create with useless probiotic pills.) However, as I’ll explain tomorrow in more detail, they cause much more harm than short-term GI upset…
In fact, a new study just found that taking antibiotic drugs can cause your colon cancer risk to SKYROCKET! So, make sure to keep an eye on your email inbox tomorrow morning for that important report.
“Recent advances in clinical practice: colorectal cancer chemoprevention in the average-risk population.” Gut, 9/28/20. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1136/ gutjnl-2020-320990