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COLON CANCER: Prevention with flavonoids

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Numerous studies have examined the factors playing a role in preventing colon cancer, with the results often being contradictory. Consumption of adequate amounts of fiber has long been considered the “magic” method in preventing colon cancer, which has seemed to be supported by several studies.

However, two random clinical trials found that increased amounts of fiber consumption and reduced fat intake alone do not have an affect on the development of malignant intestinal polyps. A summary of high quality surveys has also confirmed that consuming higher fiber amounts does not reduce colon cancer.

Colon Cancer PictureSince colon cancer is one of the most dangerous types of cancer due to the high mortality rates, it s worth exploring the factors that contribute to its prevention. The so-called metabolic syndrome (chronic metabolic syndrome), whose symptoms include excess weight around the hips, high triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels may facilitate the occurrence of colon cancer and malignant intestinal polyps, which may increase the cancer mortality rate by approximately 67%.

Similarly, diabetes can also contribute to the development of this form of cancer. Researchers emphasize that obesity in general, as well as excess weight around the lower body, is a particularly dangerous risk factor. Therefore, the beneficial effect of exercise in preventing the cancer is not surprising. Amongst those patients diagnosed with stage III. colon cancer who have increased their physical activity upon the diagnosis saw a 50% reduction in mortality rates. Interestingly, pre-diagnosis physical activity is almost equally as effective.

Researchers believe that the beneficial effects of physical activity are at least as effective as adjuvant chemotherapy against cancer. Scientists suspect the effect of insulin as being a cause of colon cancer behind the phenomena described above. This also seems to be confirmed by the survey according to which those suffering from type-2 diabetes receiving chronic insulin therapy saw an annual increase of 20% in the likelihood of intestinal cancer. High insulin levels may increase risk of the cancer by 2-700%.

Since physical activity increases sensitivity to insulin, it’s affect against colon cancer is obvious: it may help reduce insulin levels of the body. According to studies, 12-14% of all bowel diseases can be traced back to a lack of exercise. Avoiding consumption of red and processed meats, as well as refined flour and sugary foods, may also be beneficial in preventing colon cancer.


It is also worthy of attention that clinical trials have demonstrated that the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom extract also has an effect on increasing insulin sensitivity. A controlled clinical study conducted in Germany has also confirmed that the flavonoid apigenin, combined with epigallocatechin gallate, has an effect in colon cancer prevention. In the future, Agaricus blazei Murill and apigenin may have a role in supportive therapy of intestinal cancer.



Author: Gábor Varga, Dipl,-Kfm.
Further bibliographic information: www.apigenin.hu, www.patkonyelv.hu

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