Eating to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Featured Article — By on November 14, 2011 at 7:00 am

Proper nutrition and diet are important in helping to prevent many diseases and colorectal cancer is no exception.

Dietary Fat and Colorectal Cancer
Dietary fat may be one of the biggest contributors to the colorectal cancer-causing process. High fat consumption increases the amount of substances that are released into the digestive tract called bile acids. Bile acids help break down fats. When they get into the colon, the large amount of bile acids may be converted to secondary bile acids, which could promote tumor growth, especially of the cells that line the colon.

Antioxidants and Colorectal Cancer
Another important substance in the fight against colorectal and other cancers is the antioxidant. Antioxidants work by bolstering the body’s defenses against potentially dangerous substances called free radicals.
Free radicals are one of the by-products of oxygen use by every cell in our body. These substances damage the body’s cells through oxidation, the same process that rusts metal and turns butter rancid. Oxidation has also been shown to contribute to heart disease, cataracts, aging, and infections.
The body’s cells have a natural defense strategy against free radicals and are able to repair the damage caused by them. However antioxidants, such as selenium and beta-carotene, help reinforce this protection. Studies have suggested that antioxidants are best taken as foods as opposed to supplements. Some examples of antioxidants are carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein. Foods that are good sources of antioxidants include fruits, vegetables, and certain types of tea.

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