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Probiotics may help to prevent and treat colon cancer

Published on 14 September 2017 back to previous

A new study looks at the potential of probiotics in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer associated with inflammatory bowel disease. So far, the results - following tests in mice - are promising, but further investigation is required.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer, excluding skin cancer, among adults in the United States. They also estimate that colorectal cancer may cause around 50,260 deaths in 2017.

Existing studies suggest that some of the leading factors for increased risk of colorectal cancer include having been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, genetic factors, smoking, lack of physical activity, and a high body mass index (BMI).

According to recent investigations, the gut microbiome plays a key role in the development of colorectal cancer. However, many of the mechanisms at play still remain unclear. Some research suggests that using probiotics to influence the microbiome may help to prevent tumor formation.

A new study led by Dr. James Versalovic, a professor of pathology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, now looks at whether certain probiotics may be used to prevent or treat colorectal cancer.

Dr. Versalovic and his colleagues focused on the role of Lactobacillus reuteri, which is a probiotic naturally found in the guts of mammals. This bacterium has been shown to reduce inflammation in the intestine, so the team was interested in testing its effect on colorectal cancer tumors.

The researchers' findings are published in The American Journal of Pathology.

Click here to read the full story sourced from Medical News Today.

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