Colon polyps are small clumps of cells that form in the lining of the colon. Usually, colon polyps are harmless, but sometimes they can be indicative of a more serious condition such as colon cancer.
Colon polyps can develop at any age, but are most commonly found in those over 50. Even if colon polyps do not cause any symptoms, monitoring is still important because they can be safely removed during their early stage.
There are three types of colon polyps: adenomatous, serrated, and inflammatory.
The most common form accounting for two-thirds of cases, adenomatous polyps are quite unlikely to become cancerous, though the risk albeit slim is still present.
Serrated polyps are more likely to be cancerous, particularly if found in lower portion of the colon.
Lastly, inflammatory polyps may occur due to another condition, such as colitis or Crohn’s disease. Inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis increases the risk of colon cancer more than the presence of inflammatory polyps, which are usually benign.
The good news is, diet can play a large role in colon polyp formation, and natural home remedies can be utilized for preventing colon polyps or reducing the risk of associated complications.
Diet for prevention of colon polyps
Here are some dietary tips and guidelines for preventing colon polyps.
Eat foods that contain curcumin or quercetin: Curcumin is what gives certain spices their intense yellow color and has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in onions, for example. In studies of both curcumin and quercetin, polyp sizes have been found to decrease.
Reduce fat intake, especially from animal sources: Studies have shown that a diet high in animal fats increases the risk of intestinal polyps along with colon cancer. On the other hand, a diet high in fatty fish and healthy fats from nuts and oils was shown to prevent polyps and lower the risk of colon cancer. Removing animal protein as your main protein source and replacing it with healthier alternatives can help reduce the risk of polyps.
Get adequate vitamin D: Getting in adequate amounts of vitamin D can help prevent polyp development. Vitamin D can be sourced through sunlight primarily, but there are some dietary sources, too, like fortified cereals and eggs.
Maintain a healthy calcium-to-magnesium ratio: Calcium has been found to yield protective effects against polyps in the presence of magnesium. Keeping both minerals in a perfect proportion can better help prevent the development of polyps. A ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium is advised.
Eat foods that contain sulphoraphane: Sulphoraphane can be found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. In animal studies, sulphoraphane was found to offer protective effects to the intestines and prevent the formation of polyps.
Foods to eat to reduce the risk of colon polyps
To be successful in preventing and treating colon polyps through diet, you should consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, boost your folic acid level, reduce your intake of meat and saturated fat, increase your fiber intake, and increase your calcium.
Specific foods that can aid in colon polyps include broccoli, red peppers, onions, turmeric, spinach, garlic, arugula, and other sorts of cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy.
Home remedies for colon polyps
You can reduce your risk of developing colon polyps by following these prevention tips.
- Consume fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Reduce fat intake.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Don’t smoke.
- Stay physically active.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Talk to your doctor about calcium – research has shown increasing calcium prevents colon polyps, but do not embark on calcium supplementation without the approval of your doctor.
- Know your risk and speak with your doctor about screening and personalized prevention options.
Home remedies for colon polyps include:
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Consuming alcohol in moderation
- Eating small but frequent meals
- Exercising regularly
- Following the diet tips and foods listed above