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Can high-fiber diets possibly shrink colon polyps?

Davis : CA : USA | Apr 11, 2011 By AnneHart

Some nutritionists and researchers are looking at high vegetable fiber diets and vitamin D3 as one way to possibly shrink colon polyps so that they eventually may disappear. Check out the research performed at the University of California, Davis in the Sacramento and Davis regional area, "For non-whites, geography plays key role in colon cancer screening: race, ethnicity only part of equation, research finds," as reported in the January 11, 2011 issue of Science Daily.

Researchers from UC Davis Cancer Center in Sacramento and Davis have found that whether a person gets screened for colon cancer often depends on where they live in addition to their race or ethnicity. It has long been known that racial minorities have lower colorectal screening rates than whites, presumably because of differences in socioeconomic status, access to care and cultural issues. What hasn’t been known, until now, is whether these differences also vary across geographic regions.

In a paper published online in the journal Cancer, medical oncologist Thomas Semrad and colleagues at UC Davis Cancer Center demonstrated that while screening rates for whites rarely vary regardless of geography, location accounts for significant differences in colorectal testing among non-whites. Also see the U.C. Davis Dept. of Nutrition article, "What is fiber? Multiple definitions of total fiber."

One question researchers may ask is whether the fatty acid, Butyrate along with a high vegetable fiber diet and a specific amount of vitamin D3 turn your colon polyps into a state where they could shrink and disappear by the process of redifferentiation? Could butyrate lower your risk of getting colon cancer? When you eat a lot of raw vegetables and fruits day after day for a few weeks, your stools will contain a lot of the chemical called butyrate, which is an organic acid. Don’t get butyrate mixed up with a food supplement called Butyrex™ .

See the study titled "Dietary Fiber and colorectal adenoma in a colorectal cancer early detection program." Peters, U, et al, Lancet, 361: 1491-95, 2003. The findings reported, "High intakes of dietary fiber were associated with a lower risk of colorectal adenoma, after adjustment for potential dietary and non-dietary risk factors."

According to The Analyst, "Butyrate, a fatty acid, comes from two dietary sources. First, it is one of the metabolic end products of unabsorbed dietary carbohydrate that has been bacterially fermented in the gut. Butyrate is the single biggest metabolite of fiber. Second, the only direct source in the diet is from butter, which contains 3% butyrate. Adequate amounts of butyrate are necessary for the health of the large intestine cells."

When the butyrate is present at a higher level than usual in your intestines and colon, according to the May 2009 issue of Total Wellness newsletter, it causes a reaction that scientists call redifferentiation. The word, redifferentiation in biology might also imply that if your polyps were just beginning to turn cancerous, redifferentiation could help the cells, in some cases, to go back to their normal state.

The term redifferentiation also means to return to a specialized condition in order to perform a specific function after a period of having been doing a non-specific activity. Butyrate is a fatty acid. It comes from unabsorbed dietary fiber that has been bacterially fermented in the gut, and is also found in cow’s milk or butter.

How butyrate works is by metabolizing fiber in the colon. It helps produce the energy necessary for the health of the large intestine. See The Analyst site to learn more details about what butyrate does.

When you ask your doctor a question about whether a butyrate-based product will prevent your colon polyps from turning to cancer, what do you think your doctor’s answer might be? Some scientific studies have shown that you even can increase your butyrate with a food supplement called Butyrex™ . For example, Butyrex™ from T.E. Neesby, a dietary supplement provided by Jigsaw Health, and other online supplement sellers, is a butyrate complex that helps metabolize fiber in the colon for a healthier gastrointestinal system.

According to a 2003 study, (The Lancet, Volume 361, Issue 9368, Pages 1491 - 1495, 3 May 2003), "Participants in the highest quintile of dietary fiber intake had a 27% (95% CI 14—38, ptrend=0·002) lower risk of adenoma than those in the lowest quintile. The inverse association was strongest for fiber from grains and cereals and from fruits. Risks were similar for advanced and non-advanced adenoma."

The study noted that, "Risk of rectal adenoma was not significantly associated with fiber intake." How do you as a consumer interpret the findings? The study noted, "Dietary fiber, particularly from grains, cereals, and fruits, was associated with decreased risk of distal colon adenoma."

Can a product such as Butyrex™ help to lower colon cancer risk? Butyrex™ is considered part of a calcium supplement, to be taken with each meal. Its purpose is to help people with severely compromised digestion.

Yet Butyrex™ also is used to help those with autism. At the Enzymes and Autism yahoo group, Butyrex™ has been mentioned there as being able to purge ammonia. This news also is of interest to people with leaky gut, where the compromised intestines leak bacteria and undigested food into the bloodstream.

See the Aeonpi site. Also, at a mercury toxicity help site called Moondragon Birthing Services, Butyrex™ is recommended for digestion and gall bladder support for autism. Liver and gallbladder congestion are major issues in states of toxicity.

Is the product also being used as a detox formula to remove mercury and other toxins from the lower bowel or bloodstream? Or is it mainly used for reversing instestinal metaplasia? Here butyrate when combined with retinoic acid, a natural form of vitamin A, is discussed regarding being of help for those with intestinal metaplasia.

At Dr. Jonathan V. Wright’s Nutrition & Healing publication there’s an article online published in September 2004, on page 8 that answers a query regarding intestinal metaplasia. The article notes that “Although there’s no way to say for sure, there’s evidence suggesting that calcium-magnesium butyrate and retinoic acid, a natural form of vitamin A, may help reverse metaplasia. Calcium-magnesium butyrate is available as a product called Butyrex™ .”

The article explains, “I usually recommend taking one capsule three limes per day. Retinoic acid is available only by prescription, so you’ll need help from a compounding pharmacist and a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional medicine to get it and to determine what dose might be best for you.” The excellent nutrition and healing publication article also appears online as a PDF file.

Some doctors prescribe folic acid to prevent polyps. But there are conflicting studies, some showing cancer rates increasing when folic acid is added to flour used in several countries, and other studies showing that a steady dose of folic acid keeps colon cells from developing cancers.

Studies continue to be conflicting about what the results are when either the active form of folate or folic acid is added to grain or other foods. Originally folic acid had been added to flour and other foods to prevent birth defects.

Which studies can you believe on folic acid? There’s a folic acid product called Folixor on the market. Explore the research. Some people can’t absorb folic acid because they have a specific gene variation and must take folate in the active form as it comes in food or is taken from whole food products that say on the label that the folate is in the active form.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine’s site, "Senate Bill (SB) 907 (Statutes of 2003) established the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine within the Department of Consumer Affairs. The Bureau will administer the Naturopathic Doctors Act. This law specifies various standards for the licensure and regulation of naturopathic medicine that the Bureau will enforce."

You could look at the Heart Spring site to find out more about how environmental chemicals are implicated in up to 90% of all cancers, according to research by the World Health Organization. But what if you want to prevent your benign colon polyps (adenomas) from turning cancerous?

Are there certain foods that can help? High fiber diets have been shown to be helpful in general for numerous health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and possibly preventing polyups or diverticulitis by getting rid of numerous toxins that remain in the colon.

Scientific studies for the past half century have emphasized eating a high-fiber diet without being specific as to what type of foods are best. According to the May 2009 issue of Total Wellness newsletter, by eating a special raw food breakfast or snack, you’re off to a good start. First you take a handful of raw buckwheat groats (or any whole grain that is not processed) and put it into a glass jar of filtered water.

On top of the groats, you put a handful of almonds. Then on top of the almonds goes a handful of sunflower seeds. You leave these three ingredients to soak in the refrigerator overnight. They will begin to sprout. Take out the grain and seed mixture and add some fruit in a bowl.

Add liquids such as almond milk, soy milk, kefir, yogurt, or any type of milk or juice to the fruit, nut, and grain soaked raw mixture. You’d also need to check to see whether you have enough vitamin D3 and omega 3 fatty acids in balance with your other fatty acids.

See Grant WB, Garland CF’s medical research study and article titled,"A critical review of studies on vitamin D in relation to colorectal cancer." The study reported, "There is strong evidence from several different lines of investigation supporting the hypothesis that vitamin D may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Further study is required to elucidate the mechanisms and develop guidelines for optimal vitamin D3 sources and serum levels of vitamin D metabolites."

If you and your doctor agree for you to take vitamin D, use the natural vitamin D3, in the appropriate amount. Don’t consume synthetic vitamin D2. Also see the article, Growth control of human colon cancer cells by vitamin D and calcium in vitro, by Heide S. Cross, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 84:1355-57, 1992. What would you include in your dietary measures?

If you like, other natural approaches include adding two tablespoons of lecithin granules on top (optional). Your next meal could be cut up raw vegetables or a salad. Brown bag it. Cut up radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, green onions, fennel, carrots, celery, or any raw vegetables you enjoy. For dessert eat some whole fruits. Slice an organic apple.

Some doctors tell you to try a salad for dinner topped with cooked or canned salmon or other types of fish such as sardines. The point is you want some high-fiber, raw foods, about 30-35 grams of fiber in your diet, if your doctor says it’s okay for you to eat a few meals with 30-35 grams of fiber.

According to the Jigsaw Health site, the fatty acid Butyrex™ "comes from two dietary sources: 1) unabsorbed dietary fiber that has been bacterially fermented in the gut, and 2) cow’s milk or butter. By metabolizing fiber in the colon, butyrate helps produce the energy necessary for the health of the large intestine." Butyrate is offered from T.E. Neesby.

If you do eat a high-fiber diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, butyrate is helpful for soothing the gastrointestinal system and also is used by some people with chronic ailments such as digestive or colon problems, autism, and even memory loss. Check out the research on how much fiber is healthy for you. There are different requirements for men and women, with a little less fiber suggested for women. How much fiber do you need? See the article, "How Much Fiber Do You Need In Your Daily Diet? ."

Check out the benefits to you of butyrate with your health care providers. Can it shrink those polyps along with a high-fiber diet? You’re getting some butyrate when you eat butter, but then again, you’re getting saturated fat with the butter. The first place to look for validation is in the research results.

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