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Fiber - the most important non-nutritious ingredient

Colon cancer is a terrible disease. A new guideline recommends that adults aged 45 and older at average risk of colorectal cancer undergo regular screening with either colonoscopy or a stool test you can collect at home. Typically, you do the colonoscopy every 5-10 years and the other method in the years between. It's isn't hard to argue the main cause of this new recommendation - low fiber diets. It's not environmental toxins, it's not additives to foods. It's because we're not eating enough fiber.

EAT YOUR FIBER! I have studied the gastrointestinal system, including GI cancers, extensively and it really does get down to eating your fiber. We all know fiber keeps us moving, but do you know what else it does? It binds hormonal and cholesterol metabolites so they're not reabsorbed. Therefore, fiber can both prevent breast, ovarian, prostate, and other hormonal cancers and regulate cholesterol levels. What a win! Atherosclerosis is the #1 cause of death and is most often caused by high blood sugars increasing need for blood vessel repair with LDL cholesterol. Fiber also feeds our gut bacteria, and a diverse bacteria in our gut is correlated with abundant health. The bacteria do lots of things, like make B Vitamins and neurotransmitters. There are exponentially more bacteria in my gut alone than there are humans on Earth. If that doesn't wow you, think about it a little. It will.

Fiber sources: vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits. I personally don't supplement my fiber because, like any supplement, there are issues.

If you have a family history, you'll need to be screened earlier. However, most cases of colon cancer are not connected to genes. These new guidelines were established because humans aren't eating enough fiber. Get fiber from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Plant based diets (NOT VEGAN!) are great ways to make sure you get enough fiber. Animal products are your condiments, as they do have essential nutrients. Our poor health partly contributes to health insurance being so expensive. Do your duty to your country and eat your damn fiber.

Thank all that's good we have surgery and surgeons. However, in my opinion, surgery is like drugs - overused. A colonoscopy is a surgery that requires anesthesia. Anesthesia is extremely dangerous and should be used minimally, and elective procedures like colonoscopies aren't risk free. Between .3-.7 of every 100 colonoscopies results in intestinal perforation, an extremely uncomfortable and life threatening condition. That's about 1/3-2/3 of 1 person. That may seem like a small number, but I'm not willing to take that risk because I eat like crap. I eat well, have always eaten well, and have no family history. I'm thankful to say no thanks to "screening" colonoscopy. If you're having GI problems and being recommended it for diagnostic purposes, and only having rectal/sigmoid symptoms, ask for sigmoidoscopy first. Remember, your doctor is not your boss. You are hiring and paying them, you're the boss of your body. They can refuse to treat you, but that doctor probably wan't a good fit anyway.

No matter your age - eat fiber (supplements aren't adequate no matter what the package trying to make money off you says) and exercise. You'll be happy you did.

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