Colon health is something that each and every one of us should be concerned about. And now, for people with a history of colon polyp formation, a new study suggest that use of selenium based antioxidant supplements might help prevent the development of new colon polyps. Keep reading for more information on this recent research.

The study was based on the results experienced by more than 400 people, some which received a placebo and others of which received an antioxidant rich supplement that contained selenomethionnine, Vitamins A, C, and E and zinc. The study results showed that people in the group of folks who received the antioxidants had about a 40 percent reduction in the formation of new polyps within their large bowel.

Polyps, or adenoma, are benign lesions that form in the large bowel and can over time, turn into cancer. Although only a small percentage of these polyps will develop into cancer, the vast majority (70 to 80 percent) of colorectal cancer stems from them.

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 lead researcher Luigina Bonelli, MD, from Italy’s National Institute for Cancer Research in Genoa.

The study is being heralded as the next step on the ladder leading up to anti cancer effects of the mineral, something which earlier this year the US Food and Drug Administration asserted there was no evidence to support. The USDA said that health claims made for selenium supplements reducing the risk of urinary tract cancers other than bladder cancer, lung and other respitory tract cancers, colon and other digestive tract cancers, brain cancer, liver cancer or breast cancer were not supportable by the evidence.

This study suggests otherwise, and results of it will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, which is held in Houston.

In the study, 411 participants, who were ages 25 to 75, were randomly assigned to either the control group of the group that received the supplement. The supplement delivered 200 micrograms of the active agent, 30 milligrams of zinc, 6000 international units of Vitamin A, 180 milligrams of Vitamin C and 30 milligrams of Vitamin E on a daily basis. All of the participants had already had polyps removed surgically.

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 Bonelli. “It is noteworthy that the benefit observed after the conclusion of the trial persisted through 13 years of follow up.”

The stakes for the research are high. There are more than one half million new cases of colon cancer diagnosed each year around the world, and the about 200,000 people die from the disease each year.

Additional research is required to provide further evidence of the effectiveness of the supplement, and for why these particular agents produce the effects that the research evidence suggests that they produce. In the meantime, colon cancer will continue to be a battle fought by many.

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