Colorectal Cancer on the Rise in Millennials

March 5, 2017

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Colorectal Cancer on the Rise in Millennials
Recent research shows that colorectal cancer is on the rise in young adults in their 20’s and 30’s, even though it is declining in people over 50. Cancers of the colon or rectum have always been considered rare in younger generations. In fact, the medical perspective is that preventative colonoscopy procedures to screen for these cancers aren’t necessary until 50 years of age. So, what is to blame?

There are several risk factors for developing colorectal cancer that are completely avoidable with lifestyle changes. Being overweight or obese is a big risk factor in developing colorectal cancer. If you have extra weight to lose, you will want to lose weight in a healthy way by following the Five Rules of the Leptin Diet. Also consider reducing your use of alcohol and tobacco and getting 30-60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Diet plays a big role in the risk for developing colorectal cancers. The Standard American Diet, low in fruits, vegetables, and fiber and high in sugar and processed foods, will increase your risk of developing any cancer, but particularly cancers of the digestive tract. The American Cancer Society has also listed high consumption of red meat, processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meats, bacon) and meats that are grilled or fried at a high temperature as increasing your risk factor for colorectal cancers.

The health of your digestive tract is important. The combination of repeated antibiotic use, environmental toxins, and a diet of eating processed, sugary foods can take a toll on health early in life. Constipation, inflammatory bowel syndrome, leaky gut, food allergies, and candida are health issues to improve.

Research shows there are several nutrients that can help reduce your risk of colorectal cancers. It has been known for some time that vitamin D can protect against colon cancer. The modern day fear of skin cancer and unprotected sun exposure has affected our vitamin D status in America. Consider supplementing with 1,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D daily.

Increasing your fiber intake is important for preventing cancerous cell growth in the colon. A review published in the British Medical Journal demonstrated that for every 10 gram increase of dietary fiber intake there is a 10% risk reduction for colon cancer. Fiber helps reduce the time toxic contents stay in the digestive tract, reducing intestinal inflammation, damage, and potential mutation.

Fiber is more than just roughage. It acts as food to friendly flora. When beneficial flora eat the fiber, they produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid. The butyric acid activates the immune system in the digestive tract that causes immune cells to release anti-inflammatory compounds in the digestive tract. Unfortunately, our younger generations have grown up being given antibiotics. Taking a probiotic with extra fiber like psyllium or guar gum is a great place to start to help rebuild gut health and reduce inflammation in the colon that could fuel colorectal cancer growth.

Finally, consider a multiple vitamin with coenzyme B vitamins. A new animal study showed a profound ability of basic vitamins and minerals to reduce cancer risk. The animals that were given a multivitamin and mineral supplement had dramatically better antioxidant status and much less free radical damage that could lead to cancer. The amount of colon tissue damage in the pre-cancerous condition was reduced by 84 percent in those given vitamins. Basic vitamins and minerals are crucial to the function of energy, immune, and antioxidant systems in the human body and should be regularly consumed for general health purposes.

By making some lifestyle changes and adding certain nutritional supplements to your routine, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing one of the most common cancers in America. Don’t wait until it’s too late to change your diet and start improving your health. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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