Reading Room: The Role of Probiotic Cultures in the Prevention of Colon Cancer

Nana b
Nana b Member Posts: 3,030 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
For those interested.

Although research exists that links the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics with decreased risk of colon cancer, the studies can be sorted into those that most directly link consumption inversely with aberrant crypts or tumor development (animal studies) and those that tend to provide more circumstantial evidence. We have made the attempt in this paper to review critically those animal studies that we feel provide some direct measure of cause and effect. In the case of human studies, we have reviewed those that link bacteria and colon cancer. The obvious assumption in the human data is that humans would react similarly to the animals in all respects.

The major conclusion from the animal data is that there appears to be a synergistic effect of consumption of probiotic bacteria and prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides on the attenuation of the development of colon cancer. The effect is often not large, but it is possible that it could be beneficial, in combination with other ways to reduce risk. The data also point the way to the opportunities for further investigation, particularly in defining and measuring outcomes/end points in humans that are meaningful and that correlate the consumption of pro- and prebiotics with decreased risk of colon cancer development.

More specifically, probiotic foods and dietary supplements are claimed to counteract intestinal dysbiosis in the following ways:

* production of vitamins. Friendly bacteria are said to manufacture vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and folic acid.
* anti-tumor and anti-cancer activity
* suppression of pathogenic microorganisms in favor of the non-pathogenic
* relief of anxiety symptoms through indirect detoxification
* protection against radiation and other environmental toxins
* support of the immune system, by reducing immune load
* recirculation of female hormones in the bloodstream by a cleaner liver and cleaner blood, thus maintaining higher levels of estrogen in menopausal women
* maintenance of smooth bowel functioning


  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
    I like this post
    My first thought was that for those of us already diagnosed, with primary tumor removed, prevention in the digestive tract is unnecessary as colon cancer rarely recurs in the colon. However, this post then addresses the production of beneficial B vitamins and in detoxification of the liver and the blood stream, which is awesome! It also says it supports the immune system by decreasing the immune load. These are all good things! My daughter is always talking about taking probiotics for the boost in immunity! Sounds like some good stuff! I better start taking mine on a more constant basis!