Harvard Medical School publishes a health letter every year. In 2014, their letter listed five steps that help prevent colorectal cancer. In this post, I will explain three of the five points mentioned.
Colon Cancer Prevention
Vitamin D is free (it comes from sunshine) and seems to have a protective effect on many diseases.
Exposing most of your body to sunshine 10 minutes per day is enough to have good levels of vitamin D. You can have your vitamin D checked by a doctor to discuss possible supplementation.
Although it is not clear yet whether vitamin D supplements have the same effect as vitamin D from sunlight, Harvard does recommend taking them.
People with vitamin D levels of 20ng/ml or more have a threefold lower risk of developing colon cancer than people with lower vitamin D levels. Older women especially profit from good levels if vitamin D as protection against colon cancer.
In case of having colon polyps, it seems that having a bit higher vitamin D levels, 30 to 35 ng/ml, is important. Discuss this with your physician if you might have this problem.
Related post: Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage, enjoy sun responsibly.
2. Diet regulations
Harvard recommendations for healthy bowels are:
- Maximum 2 portions of red meat per week
- Maximum 1-2 glasses of alcohol per day
- A diet low in glycemic index. This means a diet composed mainly of vegetables! Foods that are rich in carbohydrates and low in fiber (for example, white bread, pastries, sweets, hamburger buns) tend to have a high glycemic index.
Related post: All recipes on this blog.
3. Exercise regularly
Harvard recommends 150 minutes of fast-paced WALKING per week. That comes down to about 20-25 minutes of fast-paced walking per day.
The Harvard health letter contains five steps, while I only mention three here. The remaining points are 1) colonoscopy and 2) taking aspirin daily. However, these options should always be discussed with your doctor, which is why I am not going to get into them here.
Colon Cancer Risk Factors
It is never too soon to start applying above measures to help prevent colon cancer, especially if you have many of the risk factors, but even if you only have a few.
Good job on taking care of your health.
Have a great week,