According to the American Cancer Society, doctors diagnosed more than 150,000 American men and women with colorectal cancer in 2009. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common diagnosed cancer in the United States. One in 19 Americans develops the disease. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the risk, including eating a healthy diet and taking vitamins to promote overall colon health.
Numerous scientific studies, including a 1996 Harvard University report, have confirmed vitamin D--both from diet and supplements--to be highly effective in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Most people get the vast majority of their vitamin D from sun exposure. The Vitamin D Council estimates only 10 percent of a person's total supply comes from diet. Although dairy products and fatty fish--such as salmon and tuna--provide good natural sources, supplements must be taken to reach the optimal vitamin D intake. The Harvard School of Public Heath says this is between 1,000 IU and 2,000 IU per day.
Found most abundantly in citrus fruits, vitamin C helps control infections, neutralizes harmful free radicals and assists in producing collagen. Vitamin C may also help reduce colon cancer risk, particularly in women. From 1981 to 1989, the University of Southern California conducted a study that found women who took high doses of Vitamin C demonstrated a decreased risk of colon cancer.
Known more for its effectiveness in fighting heart disease, vitamin E has demonstrated an ability to slow colon cancer as well. The American Cancer Society says evidence exists to suggest vitamin E protects against several forms of cancer, including colorectal cancer. Typical supplementation involves 400 IU of vitamin E, with natural sources including almonds, seeds, and dark leafy greens.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association (March 17, 2010), Dr. Susanna C. Larsson confirmed that vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Whole grains, organ meats, and seeds contain high levels of vitamin B6. And according to Dr. Alan Gaby, author of "The Doctor's Guide to Vitamin B6," up to 200mg of B6 supplements may be taken each day without fear of toxicity.
Found in whole-grain cereals and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts, vitamin K clots blood and helps calcium strengthen bones. The good bacteria within the colon produce vitamin K, and then it gets reabsorbed through the lining of the colon. Maintaining proper vitamin K levels, typically between 500mcg and 1000mcg per day, aids in colon function and overall health.
- vitamin e image by Margaret M Stewart from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.