Some research suggests that alcohol is a factor in developing colon cancer, but the evidence has not been consistent and the mechanism of alcohol-induced colon cancer risk is not clear.

Theory: Heavy drinkers (typically more than two drinks daily) may be more susceptible to colon cancer due to a general immune deficiency and poor dietary intake of cancer-preventing foods. Also, alcohol by-products may build up to high concentrations in the colon and interfere with the absorption of cancer-preventing substances. Several dietary factors may be involved in the development of colon cancer, including diets low in fresh vegetables and fruits and high in red meat. A deficiency of the B vitamin folic acid is thought to play a role in the development of colon cancer.

Self-defense: Get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily in your diet or through the use of a supplement.

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