Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome – Diet Treatment
“Juvenile” in Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome does not refer to children. Rather, it pertains to the “young” nature of the polyps themselves, which are mostly found in adults. Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome is a rare genetic disease that increases proliferation of the lining of the colon, causing “polyps.”
There are several possible genes that can be affected, and about 50% of them are found in multiple family members. The other half may be new mutations. Since it is caused by several different genes, there is no specific treatment for all cases. The recommendation is to have a periodic colonoscopy, and to have the “suspicious” polyps removed. Those who have hundreds of polyps are often recommended to have colectomy – surgical removal of the colon.
I think these are extreme treatments. There is a simple way to lower the polyps, and significantly decrease the possibility of colon cancer. This can be done by reducing inflammation in the colon. Keep in mind that one single program is not going to work for all cases. But no matter the cause, the following is the best possibility of avoiding the complications of Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome.
The Role of Lectins
Lectins are a sort of “immune system” of plants. The lectins are proteins in food that bind to carbohydrates, forming glycoproteins.
One effect they have is to decrease the proliferation of the epithelial lining of the bowels, or permeability in the gut. In a normal person, this can cause “leaky gut,” or spaces between the cells that can let toxins get into the blood or leak out, causing widespread inflammation throughout the body. However, if you have polyposis, lectins may decrease the production of polyps.
The Role of Inflammation
Normal colon epithelial lining can produce polyps when there is inflammation in the colon. If someone has a genetic pre-disposition to polyps, this may increase the number of polyps dramatically. It is therefore essential to lower inflammation as much as possible. This is normally done by the bacteria in the colon.
Certain bacteria can either increase or decreases inflammation based on food. The best way to lower inflammation is to make more butyrate or short-chain fatty acids out of fiber-rich foods. A good quality probiotic may also be helpful.
Dietary Help for Familial Polyposis
The simplest diet is to have a low protein, low fat, and high fiber diet. The more the fiber, the better. Fiber supplements can be used, but it is best to have whole foods because they will have different types of fiber. The fiber supplements also have no lectins. Therefore, the diet should consist of: