Colon Polyps. Learn How to Prevent Them Now with Supplements!

Updated: 11/9/23

Are you conscious about your health and looking for ways to prevent colon polyps from happening? Having colon polyps can create a range of digestive issues, as well as present potential cancer risks. If this is something that you’re concerned about, now is the time to take preventive action! In this blog post, we will discuss how certain supplements can help mitigate the risk of developing colorectal polyps—which are growths on the inner lining of your large intestine or rectum. With knowledge comes power and arming yourself with a few tweaks in diet and lifestyle habits just might be able to provide relief from worrying about getting the dreaded diagnosis. So let’s get started!

What Are Colon Polyps?

Colon polyps are benign lumps found in the colon or rectum. They range in size from a small dot to several centimeters in diameter. There are different types of colon polyps, but the most common ones are adenomatous polyps. These polyps have the potential to become cancerous, so it’s crucial to remove them before they become a problem. In most cases, colon polyps don’t produce any symptoms, which is why screening for colon polyps is essential.

While anyone can develop colon polyps, some people have a higher risk, including those above 50 years old and those who have a history of the condition in their families. They also occur in children (up to 6 percent of them) and are more common in those that experience intestinal bleeding.

The condition does not usually display any significant symptoms in the initial stages. It is therefore important to get screened frequently so that, if found, the polyps can be removed before they progress to cancer.

Types of Colon Polyps

Adenomatous Polyps

The most common type of colon polyps is adenomatous polyps. They arise from the gland in the lining of the colon and are considered precancerous. If left untreated, adenomatous polyps can develop into colon cancer. They usually don’t show any symptoms, but if they grow large enough, they can cause rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel movements. The best way to detect adenomatous polyps is through colonoscopy, a process in which a doctor inserts a flexible tube with a light and camera into your rectum to examine the colon.

Tubular Adenomas

Tubular adenomas, also known as adenomatous polyps, are the most common type of polyps. These polyps have a cylindrical shape and can vary in size. Generally, they tend to be small, about less than 1cm in diameter, but some larger ones can develop as well. These types of polyps are the least likely to turn into cancer and are observed in a larger percentage of rectal checks.

Villous Adenomas

Villous adenomas are the rarest type of colon polyps but pose the highest risk of developing into colon cancer. They are large and usually have a flat surface or cauliflower-like appearance. Villous adenomas are often removed during a colonoscopy and may require surgery if they are too large.

Tubulovillous Adenomas

Tubulovillous adenomas, on the other hand, are usually bigger than tubular adenomas, and the base of the polyp is wider than the top. They have both gland-like and hairy textures, resembling the “villi” seen in the intestines. These kinds of growths are more likely to progress to malignancy if they grow and aren’t watched carefully enough. However, they tend to be infrequent and only appear in about 5% of cases.

Serrated Polyps

Serrated polyps are a growing concern in colon cancer screening. They are flat, oval-shaped polyps that are difficult to detect but may develop into colon cancer if left untreated. Serrated polyps are often removed during a colonoscopy, and patients may be asked to undergo more frequent screenings if they have a history of serrated polyps.

Hyperplastic Polyps

Hyperplastic polyps are the most common type of non-cancerous colon polyps. They are formed by an overgrowth of cells in the colon lining, and are usually small in size. Hyperplastic polyps don’t require immediate treatment as they aren’t associated with a high risk of cancer, but if they are found during a colonoscopy, they will be removed and monitored.

Sessile Serrated Lesions

Sessile serrated polyps are less common during screening, but they have a belief to be the most perilous. This type of polyp has thin, serrated edges, and unlike the other two types, it grows on the flat surface of the colon. It can cause an accumulation of mucus and may hide cancerous cells, making it hard to detect but it is important to take care of an individual who has this polyp. They can be challenging to catch on a regular colonoscopy test, so specialized techniques would need to be used.

Traditional Adenomas

Traditional adenomas are the most common polyps that have a higher risk of becoming cancerous. These polyps are usually small, but some can grow larger than an inch. Traditional adenomas are typically in the upper part of the colon and are asymptomatic. The risk of cancer increases drastically if these adenomas are larger in diameter or have an irregular surface


Hamartomas are rare type of polyps that tend to run in families. They typically do not become cancerous and are relatively harmless. These polyps are usually in people with genetic conditions like Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of developing colon cancer.

Inflammatory Polyps

Inflammatory polyps arise due to inflammation in the colon, usually by conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They can grow in size and number over time, increasing the risk of colon cancer. Inflammatory polyps are usually removed during a colonoscopy and patients are treated for the underlying inflammatory condition.

Symptoms of Colon Polyps

Colon polyps do not usually display any signs and receive discovery during screening for cancer or routine colonoscopy. As they progress, however, patients experience some symptoms including:

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of colon polyps. If you notice blood in your stool or when you wipe after using the restroom, it’s essential to discuss this symptom with your doctor. Rectal bleeding may not always be a cause for concern, but it’s vital to rule out any serious underlying conditions.

Changes in Bowel Habits

If you notice any changes in your bowel habits, such as feeling the need to use the restroom more often or having difficulty having a bowel movement, this may also be a sign of colon polyps. Don’t ignore these changes in bowel habits; always discuss them with your doctor.

Abdominal Pain

Unexplained abdominal pain may also be a symptom of colon polyps. If you notice any abdominal pain that persists or becomes severe, it’s essential to let your doctor know right away. Abdominal pain can be a sign of many different conditions, and a physician can help determine the underlying cause.


Anemia is a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count. Colon polyps can cause anemia by causing small amounts of bleeding over time. If you receive a diagnosis with anemia or notice any signs of anemia, such as fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath, discuss these symptoms with your doctor.

Weight Loss

Unexpected weight loss is a symptom that is often attributed to colon polyps. If you have lost a considerable amount of weight without making any dietary changes or increasing physical activity, this is something you should take note of. Weight loss can be a sign of underlying medical conditions, and you should take this seriously.


Fatigue is another symptom that can develop when you have colon polyps. This could be due to a reduced absorption of nutrients from your food, which leads to lower energy levels. If you find yourself feeling tired or lacking in energy often, it could be related to your digestive health.


Although rare, a substantially large polyp may pull the portion of the colon to which it attaches into the distal colon, causing severe obstruction. This is called intussusception.

As the symptoms of colon polyps are rarely have feeling, it is good advice that you get a screening regularly. This will help spot and remove any polyps that may be forming before they become symptomatic or even cancerous. If you suspect that you may have the polyps, seek prompt medical attention so that the doctor can establish whether you do, and how serious the situation is.

No Symptoms at All

Believe it or not, the scary truth about colon polyps is that there may be no symptoms at all. This is why it’s crucial to get regular colon cancer screenings, as colon polyps can often go undetected without them. Experts recommend getting a colon cancer screening beginning at age 50, or earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer.

Can Colon Polyps Cause Pain?

While colon polyps themselves do not typically cause pain, they can be a potential source of discomfort during screenings or treatments. However, most people with this condition will not experience any significant pain or discomfort related to the polyps themselves. Being aware of the potential warning signs of colon polyps and getting regular screenings can help detect and address these growths early, reducing the risk of more invasive or painful treatments.

How Fast Do Colon Polyps Grow?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question since growth rates can vary widely depending on the specific type of polyp. Generally speaking, polyps tend to grow slowly over time. While some polyps may take years to grow, others can develop more quickly and become large in size in just a few months.

What Do Colon Polyps Look Like?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive answer, as they can appear in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some may take on a mushroom-like appearance, while others may have a flat or raised appearance. Colors can range from brown to black or red- in some cases, they may appear white. They can be tan, pink, or red, and they often look like small raise areas that can be flat or have a stalk-like base. Some colon polyps can also look like small clusters of grapes or even flat, disc-like shapes that are harder to spot.

Symptoms of Colon Polyps

Causes of Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are either congenital or develop in one’s lifetime. While the exact cause is still not available, scientists believe that colon polyps links to the mutation of cells in the colon lining.


One of the most common causes of colon polyps is age. People over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of developing colon polyps, with the risk becoming greater as they age. This is because the colon becomes prone to changes in the tissue that can lead to the formation of polyps. If you fall into this age range, it’s important to talk to your doctor about regular colon cancer screenings.


Another factor that can increase your risk of colon polyps is genetics. If you have a family history of colon polyps or colon cancer, you may be more likely to develop them yourself. In addition, certain genetic syndromes such as Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) link to colon polyps. If you have a family history of colon polyps or colon cancer, talk to your doctor about genetic testing and regular screenings.


Your diet can also play a role in the development of colon polyps. A diet high in red meat, processed foods, and saturated fats have a link to an increase risk of colon polyps. On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has shown to be protective against the development of colon polyps. Making simple changes to your diet like limiting your red meat consumption and adding more fruits and vegetables can have a positive impact on your colon health.

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of colon polyps. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and being overweight or obese have all have a connection to an increased risk of colon polyps. Quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet can all help decrease your risk.

Health Conditions

Finally, certain health conditions can increase your risk of colon polyps. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Type 2 diabetes have both been linked to an increased risk. If you have either of these conditions, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to manage your health and lower your risk of developing colon polyps.

Certain Medications

Finally, certain medications, especially those used to treat chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other non-cancerous conditions, can make one more prone to colon polyps. Examples of such medications include aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Diagnosing Colon Polyps

Colonoscopy is the most effective and widely used screening test for colon polyps. During a colonoscopy procedure, a long, thin tube with a camera inserts through the rectum and into the colon. The camera allows the doctor to see the inside of the colon and locate any polyps. If any polyps are there, they can experience removal during the procedure. Colonoscopy is a safe and effective screening method, but it does require preparation and can be uncomfortable. It is generally a recommendation that people over the age of 50 get a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Virtual colonoscopy, also known as computed tomography (CT) colonography, is a less invasive screening test for colon polyps. During a virtual colonoscopy, a CT scanner takes multiple X-rays of the colon, which then combine to create a 3D image. This image allows the doctor to see any polyps in the colon. Virtual colonoscopy does not require sedation or insertion of a tube into the colon. However, if polyps are there, a traditional colonoscopy may need to remove them. It is generally a recommendation that people over the age of 50 get a virtual colonoscopy every 5 years.

Stool tests are another type of screening test for colon polyps. These tests look for blood or other substances in the stool that could indicate the presence of polyps. A stool test is an easy and non-invasive option, but it is less accurate than colonoscopy or virtual colonoscopy. Therefore, people who have a positive stool test result will likely need a colonoscopy to confirm the presence of polyps.

Colon Polyps Treatment

If you’re receiving a diagnosis with colon polyps, there are various treatment options available to help you eliminate them effectively.


The most common and effective treatment for colon polyps is a procedure, polypectomy. During this procedure, your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera called a colonoscope to remove the polyp. The colonoscope inserts through your rectum and into your colon, allowing the doctor to see the polyp and remove it through the scope. Polypectomy is a safe and relatively painless procedure that takes less than an hour to complete.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

If the polyp is too large or can’t be completely removed through polypectomy, your doctor may recommend EMR. This procedure involves removing the polyp and a small amount of surrounding tissue through an endoscope. EMR is also a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour, and patients can typically return to their normal activities within a day.

Surgical Resection

If the polyp is too large or has already grown into cancer, surgery may be necessary. In surgical resection, the portion of the colon that experiences removal, and the healthy parts experience reattachment. In some cases, an ostomy bag may need to collect waste temporarily.

Adenoma Removal with Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM)

This technique involves inserting a special instrument through the anus to remove the polyp. It is particularly useful for removing polyps that are located low in the rectum.


After the initial treatment, your doctor may recommend regular surveillance to monitor the polyp’s recurrence or development. Surveillance usually involves regular colonoscopies to check for any new polyps, so it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing new polyps.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to medical treatments, simple lifestyle changes can also help to prevent colon polyps. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can significantly reduce the risk of developing polyps or colorectal cancer.

Are Colon Polyps Cancerous?

Once colon polyps are identified, they need to be removed to prevent the development of colon cancer. In most cases, polyps can have a removal during a colonoscopy. In more severe cases, surgery may be a requirement. Removal of colon polyps is important as it reduces the risk of colon cancer and improves the patient’s chances of long-term survival.

Regular screening for colon cancer is essential, particularly if you are over 45 years of age or if you have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps. Screening tests, such as colonoscopy, can detect polyps before they have a chance to become cancerous. Early detection and treatment are crucial in preventing and managing colon cancer.

Preventing colon cancer involves several lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can significantly reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also reduce your risk of colon cancer.

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Colon Polyps

The good news is that there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing colon polyps. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Limiting your consumption of processed foods and red meat
  • Incorporating regular exercise into your routine
  • Limiting your alcohol intake and quitting smoking

Colon Polyps Supplements

Colon polyps supplements can help to reduce the risk of colon cancer and other diseases that affect the colon. By taking these supplements regularly, you can help to improve your colon health and reduce the risk of developing polyps or cancer.

Vitamin D

Studies have proved that vitamin D reduces the chance of occurrence of colon polyps and colon cancer. Generally, vitamin D boosts the immune system and helps the body fight cancerous cells.

In the past years, doctors prescribed vitamin D and calcium supplements to patients who showed a likelihood of developing polyps. Ironically, research found that the combination or calcium on its own increased it and patients who took both supplements had started developing serrated polyps after a while. On its own, however, vitamin D has been in to counter the growth.

Owing to these results, it is advisable to consult with a doctor or health professional before taking the supplements, especially if you are suffering from other conditions or are pregnant.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is mainly connected to helping prevent and fight colon cancer, which develops if colon polyps are not removed or treated. It contains polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids which, when taken consistently, help to prevent the formation of polyps in the colon. As a result, it is being considered as adjuvant therapy for both colorectal cancer and polyps.


This is a plant compound that’s in the skin of grapes, blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables. Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect your colon from the damage caused by colon polyps. It also has antioxidant properties that help protect your cells from free radical damage. Resveratrol supplements are widely available and are a great way to keep your colon healthy.


These are live bacteria that are in certain foods and supplements. Probiotics can help keep your colon healthy by improving your gut health, which in turn helps your immune system fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. Probiotics have been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, so adding them to your diet can be a great way to stay healthy.


Calcium is an important mineral that contributes to strong bones and teeth. According to research, calcium can also decrease the risk of developing polyps in the colon. You can receive adequate calcium from dairy or fortified soy milk, but if these aren’t your preference, you can opt for a calcium supplement. The standard dosage is generally around 1000 mg per day.


Turmeric has been in use for countless years in both ancient and modern civilizations as a spice and medicine. Curcumin, the active component of the herb, has been found to contain cancer-fighting properties that discourage not only the growth of cancer cells, but also that of polyps. Studies conducted on patients with adenomatous colon polyps revealed that they reduced by 39 percent in those who took 0.2 percent of the chemical in their diet and by 40 percent in those who took 0.5 percent of it.


Garlic has been present in traditional medicine for years, used for promoting cardiovascular health. Photo-chemicals contained in it such as allicin (that gives it the distinct smell and taste) and organo-sulfuric compounds offer some oxidative properties, which are very helpful in preventing colorectal polyps and cancer. You can take garlic supplements or eat it raw. It is, however, advisable to consult with your doctor before taking it especially if you have other conditions related to the cardiovascular system. Garlic extract powder has blood-thinning properties that may be dangerous for anyone who is taking medication to help their blood clot.

Psyllium Husk

Your gut microbiota helps digest your food and absorb nutrients, and psyllium husk is a valuable aid in keeping your gut bacteria balanced. Psyllium husk absorbs liquid in your colon and bulks up stools, supporting the colon to pass waste without aggravating the area. Research has indicated that consuming psyllium husk supplements can alleviate the risk of developing colon polyps effectively.

The Bottom Line

Colon polyps are a common condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. Although it is not always possible to know exactly how fast colon polyps grow, it is important to understand the factors that can contribute to their growth and take steps to reduce your risk. By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding unhealthy habits, you can help to protect your colon and maintain good digestive health. And if you do experience any symptoms or have concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Early detection and treatment can make a major difference in your long-term health and well-being.

There are home remedies that one can use to prevent and relieve colon polyps including garlic, fish oil, and vitamin D supplements. If you suspect that you or even someone you know has colon polyps, seek medical attention as soon as you can so the doctor can diagnose and determine the suitable method of treating or removing them. It would be wise to get a screening regularly as the polyps are not symptomatic. It may be hard to tell whether they are present or not. The doctor may also offer advice on how to prevent colon polyps.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: Ryan Quigley
Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering the Vegas Golden Knights.