Diet, Nutrition, and Supplements

Almost everyone living with a hereditary colon cancer will eventually undergo some bowel diversion, whether a j-pouch, illeostomy, colostomy, Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR), or some other variation. Getting to know your new body can be difficult, as can answering questions like, "What can I eat comfortably?", "How can I reduce the number of daily bathroom trips and make the experience more pleasant?", "What nutritional deficiencies am I at risk of developing?", and "What supplements work well?" Below is a list of resources that we have found to be useful. Please contact us with any resources that have worked well for you or if you have any other questions or comments. 

Nutrition for Prevention


"Fat-Rich, Low Fibre Diet May Up Colorectal Cancer Risk" - Study results from the University of Helsinki in Finland

Further research needs to occur, but initial study results support a link between the western diet and the development of colon cancer in those with LYNCH syndrome. A western diet is generally defined as one high in saturated fats, red meats, ‘empty’ carbohydrates—junk food—and low in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and poultry.


"Curcumin and Quercetin to Reduce Polyps" - Study results from Francis M. Giardiello, M.D., at Johns Hopkins University
Five patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) were treated with regular doses of curcumin and quercetin over an average of six months. The average number of polyps dropped 60.4%, and the average size of the polyps that did develop dropped by 50.9%.
"EPA Reduces Rectal Polyp Number and Size in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis" - Study results from St James's University Hospital in the UK
55 patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) were treated with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) for 6 months. Polyp number was reduced by ~22.4% and polyp size was reduced by ~29.8%.  Dosage of the enteric-coated EPA capsules was 500 mg twice daily.
Nutrition for Post Colorectal Surgery
United Ostomy Associations of America - The UOAA offers great diet and nutritional advice, as well as information regarding illeostomy food blockages, for those living with a bowel diversion. Here are direct links to their Nutrtional Guides and Reference Cards:


Diet and Nutrtion Guide (English)



Diet and Nutrtion Guide (Español)



Ostomate's Food Reference Card



Illeostomy Food Blockage Card


Iron and B12 Deficiency - This is a common factor after a total colectomy. Traditional therapy for iron is to take Iron sulfate, which can be difficult on the stomach and cause constipation, even in patients with no colon. Here is an alternative:


Floradix (Liquid Iron gluconate) - Boasts an absorbtion rate of 25%, is rich in Iron and B Vitamin, non-constipating and comes in a vegetarian and gluten-free liquid formula.



Probiotics - The human body is dependent upon friendly bacteria to facilitate the uptake of nutrients. Not having a colon has a drastic effect on the natural flora in our body. Taking a daily probiotic is an excellent to maintain a healthy gut.


VSL#3 - VSL#3 is a probiotic medical food for the dietary management of ulcerative colitis, an ileal pouch and IBS, Intestinal inflammation relief with probiotics.