Nutrition for the Colon

An abundance of flavonoids from fruits and vegetables are the best way to nourish the colon. Specifically, tomatoes, sauces, and salsa are cleansing and important for colon health.

Each organ must be properly nourished and cared for through daily meals, snacks and beverages. Likewise, each organ has a list of foods to avoid that have demonstrated the ability to inflict harm,  lead to malabsorption, food intolerance, disease, or cancer. It is important to note that there are variables to colon health, in addition to nutrition, which should all be discussed with your doctor.  (Genetics, Habits, Lifestyle, Vices)

The colon (large intestine) functions as an internal sewage system, has 4 sections and connects to the anus for excretion of feces.

The Large Intestine, or Colon, has four sections: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon and the sigmoid colon. It is about 6 ft in length and due to its diameter in width, it is called the large intestine ending at the anus where the feces is excreted. The small intestine is 26 ft in length and much smaller in diameter and therefore, bears the name of small intestine.

The purpose of the large intestine is to carry the sewage (digested or undigested foods) from our bodies.  As modern society has “developed”, the food consumption has changed from: fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and oils, to food that has been engineered such as: cookies, chips, candy, and soda.

Toxins and Mucus.  The human body was not designed to digest toxin filled foods. When consuming harmful foods, a signal is sent from the stomach, to the intestine, to alert the colon as to what is coming down the line.  The colon produces a mucus to protect itself from the harmful foods and toxins.  Overtime an accumulated thick layer of hardened mucus has lined the colon that can weigh between 5-11 pounds! The mucus production should disintegrate on its own through occasional use, over use leads to toxemia and disease.

Weight Loss.  Choosing to “diet” can further a problem by introducing fruits and vegetables  to an already blocked system.  Before changing eating habits, a doctor may advice the patient to fast and then to flush their bodies of the toxins by taking a laxative (colenema). This is a safe cleansing that can be done in the privacy of one’s bathroom.  For a natural cleansing: Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice of both lemon halves into a glass of water.  Drink twice a day; once in the morning and after dinner. (Just as a car engine would not have new oil added to the old filthy built up oil, a clean engine is often the best way to begin a new dietary lifestyle.)

American Cancer Society Identifies Risk Factors

Type 2 Diabetes.   According to the American Cancer Society, “People with type 2 (usually non-insulin dependent) diabetes have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Both type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer share some of the same risk factors (such as excess weight). But even after taking these factors into account, people with type 2 diabetes still have an increased risk. They also tend to have a less favorable prognosis (outlook) after diagnosis. Nourish the Colon with optimal choices.”

Genetics: Increased risk factor is tied to familial Colon cancer “with a history of colorectal cancer in one or more first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) are at increased risk. The risk is about doubled in those with a single affected first-degree relative. It is even higher if the first-degree relative was diagnosed when they were younger than 45, or if more than one first-degree relative is affected.

People with a family history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer should talk with their doctor about screening before age 50. If you have had adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer, it’s important to tell your close relatives so that they can pass along that information to their doctors and start screening at the right age.”

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): “FAP is caused by changes (mutations) in the APC gene that a person inherits from his or her parents. About 1% of all colorectal cancers are due to FAP.

People with this disease typically develop hundreds or thousands of polyps in their colon and rectum, usually in their teens or early adulthood. Cancer usually develops in 1 or more of these polyps as early as age 20. By age 40, almost all people with this disorder will have developed colon cancer if the colon isn’t removed first to prevent it.

Gardner syndrome is a type of FAP that also involves benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the skin, soft connective tissue, and bones.”

Hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC): “HNPCC, also known as Lynch syndrome, accounts for about 2% to 4% of all colorectal cancers.  The cancers in this syndrome also develop when people are relatively young. People with HNPCC can have polyps, but they only have a few, not hundreds as in FAP. The lifetime risk of colorectal cancer in people with this condition may be as high as 80%.

Women with this condition also have a very high risk of developing cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Other cancers linked with HNPCC include cancer of the ovary, stomach, small bowel, pancreas, kidney, brain, ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), and bile duct.”

Recommended Dietary Intake

  • Water, or water with juice of fresh lemon twice a day
  • 2-3 cups Green Tea (decaffeinated) a day
  • Daily Aspirin
  • Raw Plant Foods (fruits and vegetables)
  • Aloe Vera (beverage) http://aloe-verajuice.com/
  • Broccoli & Kale. Butyrate is formed in the colon through bacteria fermentation, in the presence of carbohydrates rich in fiber.  Known to have a number of anti cancer effects, certain foods  are recommended for preventative colon care.
  • Sweet Potatoes (Vitamin A, C, E, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Phytosterols) increased motility of bowels so toxins move quickly through, protection against cellular mutation.
  • Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic allows for the immune system to work more aggressively.
  • Yogurt:  Returns balance of healthy bacteria and resident flora, which promotes bowel movements and waste elimination.  Yogurt is rich in Vitamin D and Calcium, both are imperative to organ health.
  • Tuna (Omega 3 for cellular reparation)
  • Turmeric (gives color to Curry. Can be placed into a spice shaker and used on vegetables, soups, salads, poultry, fish, pasta, rice) anti-carcinogenic
  • Cinnamon: anti carcinogenic
  • Dried Fruit, Beans, Brown Rice all have fiber that remove toxins from the intestine.
  • Flavonoids are antioxidants and should be consumed daily; found in all fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices
  • Foods that produce Butyrate to remove toxins are: green vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, whole grains.

What has shown to Harm the Colon should be Avoided or limited.

  • Red Meat (1’c a month: Men 3 ounces and Women 2 ounces)
  • Lamb (1’c a month reduced amounts)
  • Pork (1’c a month reduced amounts)
  • Processed Meats
  • Excessive Processed, Snacks, & Fried Foods
  • Alcohol (1 glass of wine or 1 beer once a week)
  • Smoking (Avoid!)

What has been linked to Polyps

  • Over cooked foods
  • Dairy, Cheese (no more than 1 ounce 3 times a week)
  • Red Meats
  • Fried Foods
  • Processed Foods (chips, crackers, candy, cookies, fried foods)

Foods to Avoid if a colostomy has been performed

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Raw onions or raw garlic

Nutrient balance is critical to colon health. The daily recommended intake (DRI) of 4 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables, Vitamin D and calcium all promote healthy organs.

Families who have a history of colorectal or colon cancer should discuss genetic testing and review a dietary and exercise plan with their doctor.

Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio BASC DTR

References

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