Antioxidants May Boost Colon Health

Further Evidence Supports Regular Intake Of Antioxidants,Carotenoids, Minerals And Vitamins Are Valuable For Cancer Risk Reduction

Specifically, Selenium-based supplements may prevent the development of new polyps in people with a history of colon polyp formation, says a new study.

400 people participated in the study, in which they received either placebo or an antioxidant-rich supplement containing selenomethionnine, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E. At the end of the study people in the antioxidant group experienced a 40 per cent reduction in the incidence of new polyps of the large bowel.

“Our study is the first intervention trial specifically designed to evaluate the efficacy of the selenium-based antioxidant compound on the risk of developing metachronous adenomas,” said researchers from the National Institute for Cancer Research in Genoa, Italy.

The study represents another important step on the ladder of supporting the potential anti-cancer effects of the mineral. The research findings are being presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held in Houston.

Adenomatous polyps (or adenoma) are benign lesions of the large bowel that, in time, could progress to cancer, explain the researchers. Even though only a small proportion of adenomas will develop into
cancer, it is said that almost 70 to 80 per cent of colorectal cancer stems from an adenoma.

The research team randomly assigned the 411 participants aged between 25 and 75 to receive either placebo or an antioxidant supplement. The supplement provided daily doses of 200 micrograms of selenomethionnine, 30 milligrams of zinc, 6,000 IU of vitamin A, 180 milligrams of vitamin C, and 30 milligrams of vitamin E. All the participants had already undergone surgery to remove one or more colorectal adenomas.

“Our results indicated that individuals who consumed antioxidants had a 40 per cent reduction in the incidence of metachronous adenomas of the large bowel,” said the researchers “It is particularly
noteworthy that the benefit observed after the conclusion of the trial persisted through 13 years of follow up.”

Selenium and Prostate Health…

A greater body of science exists for Selenium and prostate health. A number of studies, most notably the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer study and the Alpha-tocopherol, Beta-carotene Cancer Prevention study, have reported that the nutrients, alone or in combination, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

With over half a million new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed every year, and the cancer directly causing over 200,000 deaths, potential preventive measures are highly desirable.