How Weight Loss Helps Your Colon

Medically reviewed in November 2021

Cutting a few pounds not only will help you toward your ideal weight but also may cut down on colon growths.

People who are overweight tend to have a higher risk of developing colon growths -- those pesky little benign tumors that stand a chance of turning cancerous. Dropping the extra pounds appears to drop the risk.

Passing on polyps
A study of nearly 8,000 Japanese men showed that when their body mass index (BMI) went up, so did the number of colon adenomas, a kind of polyp that could become cancerous. But a year later, the men who had trimmed down had a lower occurrence of polyps than the men who gained or maintained their weight. The extra pounds may somehow encourage insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, two things thought to spur cancer cells. 

For extra protection
Be an overachiever! Add these other actions to your colon-health to-do list:

  • Hit the pavement. A brisk walk 30 minutes a day may slow the growth of colon cells. 
  • Get your share of whole grains. The good-for-you nutrients in whole grains help keep your plumbing clear.
  • Eat an apple a day. It might very well help keep colon cancer away. 

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