Polyposis natural remedy, vitamins, herbs, natural treatment or prevention
August 20 2018 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Familial adenomatous polyposis is an autosomal dominant disorder leading to the development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas and eventual colorectal cancer. These colonic polyposis usually show no symptoms.

Treatment for familial adenomatous polyposis
Regression of adenomas in this syndrome occurs with the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, but these compounds can have considerable side effects. Natural treatment options with curcumin, quercetin and other natural supplements are just being evaluated. There are additional nutritional options to consider as reviewed in the colon cancer article.

Natural and alternative therapy, dietary supplements, food, vitamins
It is exiting to discover that natural supplements could be helpful in the treatment of familial adenomatous polyposis.

Black raspberries
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014. A phase Ib study of the effects of black raspberries on rectal polyps in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. This study determined whether black raspberries (BRBs) might regress rectal polyps in patients with FAP. Fourteen patients with FAP were treated with BRBs daily for 9 months. Seven patients received BRB powder orally plus two BRB suppositories inserted into the rectum at bedtime. The other 7 received an oral placebo plus the suppositories. The burden but not number of rectal polyps was significantly decreased. No benefit was noted with the addition of oral BRBs. Three patients were nonresponders. BRBs significantly decreased cellular proliferation, DNA methylation methyl transferase 1 protein expression, and p16 promoter methylation, but not promoter methylation of the Wnt pathway antagonists, SFRP2 and WIF1, in rectal polyps (adenomas) from responders but not from nonresponders. In conclusion, BRB suppositories seem sufficient for regressing rectal polyps in patients with FAP.

Curcumin and quercetin for Familial adenomatous polyposis
Combination treatment with curcumin and quercetin of adenomas in familial adenomatous polyposis.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006. Cruz-Correa M, et al. Department of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Weston, Florida, USA.
We evaluated the efficacy of the combination of diet-derived nonprescription supplements curcumin and quercetin to regress adenomas in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. Five familial adenomatous polyposis patients with prior colectomy (4 with retained rectum and 1 with an ileal anal pouch) received curcumin 480 mg and quercetin 20 mg orally 3 times a day. The number and size of polyps were assessed at baseline and after therapy. All 5 patients had a decreased polyp number and size from baseline after a mean of 6 months of treatment with curcumin and quercetin. The mean percent decrease in the number and size of polyps from baseline was 60 and 50, respectively. Minimal adverse side effects and no laboratory abnormalities were noted. The combination of curcumin and quercetin appears to reduce the number and size of ileal and rectal adenomas in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis without appreciable toxicity.

Gastroenterology. 2018. Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Treatment of Intestinal Adenomas in Patients With Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. Oral administration of the spice curcumin has been followed by regression of polyps in patients with this disorder. We performed a double-blinded randomized trial to determine the safety and efficacy of curcumin in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. This study included 44 patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (18-85 years old) who had not undergone colectomy or had undergone colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis or ileal anal pouches, had at least 5 intestinal adenomatous polyps. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to groups given 100% pure curcumin (1,500 mg orally, twice per day) or identical-appearing placebo capsules for 12 months. The number and size of lower gastrointestinal tract polyps were evaluated every 4 months for 1 year. After 1 year of treatment, the average rate of compliance was 83% in the curcumin group and 91% in the placebo group. After 12 weeks, there was no significant difference in the mean number of polyps between the placebo group and the curcumin group. We found no significant difference in mean polyp size between the curcumin group and the placebo group. Adverse events were few, with no significant differences between groups. In a double-blinded randomized trial of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, we found no difference in the mean number or size of lower intestinal tract adenomas between patients given curcumin 3,000 mg/day and those given placebo for 12 weeks.
   Note: I am not sure whether 3 months is enough time to notice a difference with curcumin supplementation, and whether a higher dose may be more beneficial.

Eviendep proprietary formula
World J Gastroenterol. 2013. Eviendep reduces number and size of duodenal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis patients with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. To evaluate if 3 month oral supplementation with Eviendep was able to reduce the number of duodenal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). Eleven FAP patients with IPAA and duodenal polyps were enrolled. They underwent upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy at the baseline and after 3 mo of treatment. Each patient received 5 mg Eviendep twice a day, at breakfast and dinner time, for 3 mo. Our study demonstrated that short-term (90 d) supplementation with Eviendep in FAP patients with IPAA and with recurrent adenomas in the duodenal mucosa, resulted effective in reducing polyps number of 32% and size of 51%. Note: The ingredients in this formula include: Dietary Supplement: Eviendep (CM&D Pharma Limited, UK) 175 mg milk thistle (fruit dry extract, 70% in silymarin) + 20 mg flaxseed (dry extract, 40% in secoisolariciresinoldiglucoside) +750 mg non-starch, insoluble and indigestible fiber (6% in lignin). Provided in 5 g sachets, to be dissolved in half glass water, administered twice a day for 60 days on top of the common diet.

Fiber intake
Few studies regarding the benefits of fiber intake on FAP, but it is an option to consider. There are many types of fiber that could be of benefit.

Am J Med. 1999. Wheat bran fiber and development of adenomatous polyps: evidence from randomized, controlled clinical trials. Mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are thought to initiate and promote the pathway to colorectal cancer, leading to hyperproliferation, the development of adenomas, and progression to gross malignancy. Intervention at any of these steps can potentially prevent the development of cancer. Several randomized, controlled trials have investigated the effect of dietary interventions, including the addition of wheat bran fiber, on the development of adenomatous polyps. In a familial adenomatous polyposis trial, patients were treated with 4 g of ascorbic acid plus 400 mg of alpha-tocopherol per day alone or with a grain fiber supplement (22.5 g/day) over a 4-year period. On an actual-intake basis, the combined intervention inhibited the development of rectal polyps. However, the Toronto Polyp Prevention Trial found no significant differences in polyp recurrence rates between patients who were counseled to follow a low-fat, high-fiber diet and patients consuming a typical Western diet with placebo fiber. A 9-month study of patients with resected colon adenomas found that dietary wheat bran fiber significantly reduced total, primary, and secondary fecal bile acid concentrations and excretion rates. Such bile acid levels are thought to be related to the risk of developing cancer. The Australian Polyp Prevention Project reported that the combination of fat reduction and a supplement of wheat bran reduced the incidence of large colorectal adenomas. These latter results suggest that intervention with a low-fat wheat bran supplemented diet inhibits the transition from smaller to larger adenomas, which may be a critical step in determining which adenomas progress to malignancy.

Carcinogenesis. 2016. Can supplementation of phytoestrogens/insoluble fibers help the management of duodenal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis? Duodenal cancer and desmoids are now the leading causes of death in FAP. We evaluate whether 3 months of oral supplementation with a patented blend of phytoestrogens and indigestible insoluble fibers (ADI) help the management of FAP patients with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). In a prospective open label study, we enrolled 15 FAP patients with IPAA and duodenal polyps who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy at baseline and after 3 months of treatment. After 3 months of ADI treatment, all patients showed a reduction in the number and size of duodenal polyps. ADI proved to be safe and effective, and its long-term effects on FAP patients need further investigation. Judging from the results we observed on COX-2 and miR-101 expression, the short-term effects of ADI treatment could be comparable with those obtained using COX-2 inhibitors, with the advantage of being much more tolerable in chronic therapies and void of adverse events.

Fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids
The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) has anticolorectal cancer activity in vitro and in preclinical models. The present study tested whether a novel, enteric-coated formulation of EPA, as the free fatty acid (EPA-FFA), has chemopreventative efficacy in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patients undergoing endoscopic surveillance of their retained rectum postcolectomy were randomised to EPA-FFA (SLA Pharma) 2 g daily or placebo for 6 months. EPA-FFA has chemopreventative efficacy in FAP, to a degree similar to that previously observed with selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors. EPA holds promise as a colorectal cancer chemoprevention agent with a favorable safety profile. West NJ, Clark SK, Phillips RK, Hutchinson JM, Leicester RJ, Belluzzi A, Hull MA. Section of Molecular Gastroenterology, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK. Gut. 2010.

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2013. Marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids: fishing for clues for cancer prevention. Omega-3 fatty acids (FA) are polyunsaturated essential FA with anti-inflammatory properties. The most potent are the marine-derived eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which counteract the pro-inflammatory omega-6 FA. Americans take in an average of only 100 mg of EPA plus DHA per day resulting in a low omega-3:omega-6 intake ratio of 1:10 favoring inflammation. Cohort and/or case control studies suggest EPA and DHA are promising for breast, colon, and prostate cancer risk reduction. Mechanistic studies largely in preclinical models suggest EPA and DHA reduce synthesis of prostaglandin E2 and other inflammatory cytokines, decrease aromatase activity and proliferation, promote differentiation and apoptosis, and enhance insulin sensitivity. Animal models using 7% to 20% omega-3 added to chow are promising; however, this amount of omega-3 in a diet is unlikely to be acceptable to humans. The optimal EPA:DHA ratio or the lowest effective dose of EPA and DHA for cancer prevention is unclear, but it is likely to be more than 600 mg/day, which is six times the average American intake. Most phase II prevention trials use 1 to 3.3 g of EPA and DHA, which is safe and well tolerated. Two grams of EPA was associated with fewer polyps in individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis.

Phenols in the diet
Carcinogenesis. 2000. Plant phenolics decrease intestinal tumors in an animal model of familial adenomatous polyposis. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of several plant-derived phenolics, including caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), curcumin, quercetin and rutin, for the prevention of tumors in mice. At a dietary level of 0.15%, CAPE decreased tumor formation in mice by 63%. Curcumin induced a similar tumor inhibition. Quercetin and rutin, however, both failed to alter tumor formation at dietary levels of 2%. Examination of intestinal tissue from the treated animals showed that tumor prevention by CAPE and curcumin was associated with increased enterocyte apoptosis and proliferation. CAPE and curcumin also decreased expression of the oncoprotein beta-catenin in the enterocytes of the Min/+ mouse, an observation previously associated with an antitumor effect. These data place the plant phenolics CAPE and curcumin among a growing list of anti-inflammatory agents that suppress Apc-associated intestinal carcinogenesis.

Beneficial bacteria are good for colon health. You may consider probiotic supplements or eating fermented foods such as kimchi and others.

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2005. Outcome of four weeks' intervention with probiotics on symptoms and endoscopic appearance after surgical reconstruction with a J-configurated ileal-pouch-anal-anastomosis in ulcerative colitis. Pouchitis is a common and troublesome condition in patients operated on with ileal-pouch-anal-anastomosis (IPAA). A disturbed microecology in the pouch has been suggested as one possible explanation. In a previous double-blind, randomized, controlled study we demonstrated clinical improvement of symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) operated on with IPAA, during intervention with live probiotic microbes Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteriae. Five hundred millilitres of a fermented milk product (Cultura) containing live lactobacilli (La-5) and bifidobacteriae (Bb-12) was given daily for 4 weeks to 51 UC patients and 10 patients with FAP, operated on with IPAA, and six UC patients operated on for IRA. Results of this extended study, showing an effect of probiotics on symptoms and endoscopic inflammation in UC patients operated on with IPAA confirm our previously reported effect of probiotics on clinical symptoms and endoscopic score in a smaller, double-blind, randomized, controlled study. The significantly higher response to probiotics in families with increased risk of IBD will have to be repeated in future studies.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014. Resveratrol and aspirin eliminate tetraploid cells for anticancer chemoprevention. Tetraploidy constitutes a genomically metastable state that can lead to aneuploidy and genomic instability. Tetraploid cells are frequently found in preneoplastic lesions, including intestinal cancers arising due to the inactivation of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). Using a phenotypic screen, we identified resveratrol as an agent that selectively reduces the fitness of tetraploid cells by slowing down their cell cycle progression and by stimulating the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Selective killing of tetraploid cells was observed for a series of additional agents that indirectly or directly stimulate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) including salicylate, whose chemopreventive action has been established by epidemiological studies and clinical trials. Both resveratrol and salicylate reduced the formation of tetraploid or higher-order polyploid cells resulting from the culture of human colon carcinoma cell lines or primary mouse epithelial cells lacking tumor protein p53 (TP53, best known as p53) in the presence of antimitotic agents, as determined by cytofluorometric and videomicroscopic assays. Moreover, oral treatment with either resveratrol or aspirin, the prodrug of salicylate, repressed the accumulation of tetraploid intestinal epithelial cells in the ApcMin/+ mouse model of colon cancer. Collectively, our results suggest that the chemopreventive action of resveratrol and aspirin involves the elimination of tetraploid cancer cell precursors.

Mol Cancer. 2013. Thymoquinone attenuates tumor growth in ApcMin mice by interference with Wnt-signaling. Thymoquinone (TQ) is considered the main compound of the volatile Nigella sativa seed oil and has been reported to possess anticarcinogenic properties. In this study we evaluated the chemopreventive properties of TQ in a mouse model of FAP. Thymoquinone interferes with polyp progression in ApcMin mice through induction of tumor-cell specific apoptosis and by modulating Wnt signaling through activation of GSK-3β. Nigella sativa oil (or TQ) might be useful as nutritional supplement to complement surgery and chemoprevention in FAP.

Vitamin D maybe
Oncotarget. 2016. A role for the vitamin D pathway in non-intestinal lesions in genetic and carcinogen models of colorectal cancer and in familial adenomatous polyposis.

Familial polyposis symptom
Symptoms of familiar colonic polyposis are infrequent but could include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Fam Cancer. 2018. Prevalence of thyroid diseases in familial adenomatous polyposis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Thyroid cancer is a known extra-intestinal manifestation and contributes to the mortality and morbidity in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. Benign thyroid disorders are common in FAP, yet, thyroid cancer is an uncommon phenomenon.

Progression of the disease
Gastrointest Endosc. 2018. Natural history of colonic polyposis in young patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. The rate of polyposis progression in young patients with FAP varies with a median of about 25 new polyps per year.

FAP is a hereditary cancer syndrome associated with a substantial lifetime risk for colorectal cancer. The leading extra-colonic causes of cancer include duodenal and thyroid cancer. Guidelines recommend regular thyroid ultrasound screening beginning in the teenage years.

Other types of polyposis that are diagnosed
Nasal polyposis
Hamartomatous intestinal polyposis
Gastric polyposis
Juvenile polyposis

Nasal polyposis
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015. Current and future treatment options for adult chronic rhinosinusitis: Focus on nasal polyposis. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) affects more than 10% of the population in the United States and Europe. Recent findings point to a considerable variation of inflammatory subtypes in patients with CRS with nasal polyps and patients with CRS without nasal polyps. According to current guidelines, glucocorticosteroids and antibiotics are the principle pharmacotherapeutic approaches; however, they fail in a group of patients who share common clinical and laboratory markers. Several clinical phenotypes often leading to uncontrolled disease, including adult nasal polyposis, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, and allergic fungal rhinosinusitis, are characterized by a common endotype: a TH2 bias is associated with a higher likelihood of comorbid asthma and recurrence after surgical treatment. As a consequence, several innovative approaches targeting the TH2 bias with humanized mAbs have been subjected to proof-of-concept studies in patients with CRS with nasal polyps with or without comorbid asthma: omalizumab, reslizumab, mepolizumab, and recently dupilumab.