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image of text: Get screened for colon cancer and take probiotics

Get Screened For Colon Cancer and Take Probiotics!

Based on a recent announcement from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, you may be worried about an alarming rise in colon cancer, especially if you’re under age 50. The Task Force, along with the American Cancer Society, now advises colon cancer screenings starting at age 45.

Their advisory comes at a critical time, given colon cancer tops the list the deadliest form of cancer among men and is third among women in the 20-49 age range, not to mention the third deadliest cancer among all Americans overall.

This growing problem became a national concern with the recent death of actor and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman at age 43, after being diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016.

Recognize the Colon Cancer Risks

An array of factors contributes to an increased risk of colon cancer, from inherited syndromes and a history of noncancerous colon polyps to family history and race. (African-Americans are at a greater risk than other races.)

However, other very prevalent factors — a poor diet, a lack of exercise and exposure to harmful chemicals — add to your risk profile for colon cancer (and other diseases) but are well within your control.

The shared link among these very common problems is how these factors work to disrupt the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

Of course, eating a fiber-rich diet (and cutting back on red meat), spending a few minutes every day exercising (it can be as easy as a short walk around the block) and paying closer attention to the chemicals that surround you help to lower your colon cancer risks.

Did you know taking a probiotic may make a difference too?

The Probiotic Advantage

Given the rise in colon cancer, medical research is turning to probiotics to make a direct impact. For instance, a small study appearing in BMJ Open Gastroenterology examined the gut health of colon cancer patients taking a probiotic with strains of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus (both are contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic).

The gut health of colon cancer patients improved, thanks to the increased and very beneficial production of butyrate (short-chain fatty acids created when your gut produces soluble fiber).

Another recent report appearing in Nutrients cited lots of evidence that probiotics could support the prevention of colon cancer and even its treatment. Among the benefits cited by researchers:

  • Increasing the number of anti-carcinogenic metabolites and antioxidants
  • Deactivating or decreasing harmful enzymes and cancerous compounds
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving the health of the intestinal wall

The Take-Home Message

There’s lots of work ahead to make a real dent in reducing the number of people who have colon cancer at such a young age. Lowering the age for initial colon cancer screenings will help tremendously as will the very straightforward lifestyle changes we cited previously.

But if you want to do a little more to fortify and protect your gut — the center of your immune system — taking a multi-strain probiotic like EndoMune could make a significant difference.

Resources

 

 

image of intestines and pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness

How Gut Health Drives Breast Cancer

When women consider the steps they’ll take to lessen their risks of breast cancer, protecting the healthy balance of gut bacteria may not be at the top of their to-do lists.

However, women would probably reconsider in a heartbeat if they understood how restoring that balance affected the severity and aggressiveness of breast cancer.

Disruptions of the gut microbiome balance and inflammation may worsen the spread of at least one form of breast cancer severely, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Research.

Disruptions with antibiotics

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancers (ones triggered by estrogen or progesterone) accounts for at least two-thirds of all diagnoses and these forms usually respond well to hormone therapy.

Major problems arise when these cancers metastasize, spreading beyond the breast into other body tissues. High levels of immune cells in those tissues known as macrophages can fuel early metastasis.

Scientists at the University of Virginia led by Dr. Melanie Rutkowski examined how the gut affects the spread of breast cancer by altering the microbiomes of mice. (They fed mice antibiotic “cocktails” for 14 days or plain water before injecting them with mammary cancer cells.)

Spreading breast cancer

No surprise, the microbiomes of mice treated with antibiotics were disrupted, resulting in inflammation systemically and within mammary tissue.

“In this inflamed environment, tumor cells were much more able to disseminate from the tissue into the blood and to the lungs, which is a major site for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to metastasize,” says Dr. Rutkowski.

Based on these findings, Dr. Rutkowski and her team believe an unhealthy gut and the problems that occur in the body as a result may be early predictors of metastatic or invasive breast cancer.

It’s important to note that the megadoses of antibiotic used to accelerate the long-term imbalances of animal microbiomes wouldn’t happen with patients taking a typical course of antibiotics during a typical cancer treatment, Dr. Rutkowski says.

But, too many patients still rely on antibiotics way too often, even for treating minor health problems that aren’t designed to respond to these drugs.

Gut health affects your entire health!

Your gut affects so many parts of your health that are intricately tied to your immune system, and a lack of gut bacteria diversity harms those efforts.

Although there’s many steps you can take to protect and improve the health of your gut and immune system, taking a probiotic is among the best and easiest choices you can make.

To get the most good out of the probiotic you’re taking, ensure it’s formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria that mirror and enhance the diversity of your gut too.

Formulated to give your immune system a much-needed daily boost, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic contains 10 strains of beneficial bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families — 30 BILLION bacterial allies — that protect your gut every day.

References

cancer awareness ribbons lined up.

Fighting Cancer With Prebiotics

Prebiotics are the unsung heroes of gut health.

Made of non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates, prebiotics do much of the dirty work behind the scenes by feeding the good bacteria living in your gut and stimulating their growth.

But that’s not all they do…

More recently, science has discovered new benefits of prebiotics related to protecting your bones from osteoarthritis and promoting better sleep.

A new role may be emerging for prebiotics as a natural cancer-fighting agent.

Prebiotics vs. Cancer

Among the therapies used by physicians to fight melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, are drugs that target mutated groups of genes (BRAF and MEK inhibitors).

Unfortunately, some of these therapies don’t help everyone and, in other cases, patients can develop a resistance to these treatments.

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego had observed how the addition of prebiotics to therapy regimens had helped in fighting cancer in previous studies but were unsure how those mechanisms worked.

They observed how the action of two prebiotics (inulin, a starch-like substance found in herbs, vegetables and fruits like onions, asparagus, bananas and leeks, or mucin, an intestinal protein) shaped the gut microbiotas of mice to boost their tiny immune systems and aid in the effectiveness of the medicines they were given.

Scientists fed these animals water and food containing inulin or mucin, then transplanted either melanoma or colon cancer cells into their tiny bodies.

The winner is…

The addition of prebiotics made a great deal of difference in a number of ways:

  • Stimulating the number of immune cells that fight tumors.
  • Helping mice develop more distinct gut health signatures, thus generating more anti-tumor immunity.
  • Slowing the growth of melanoma.
  • Improving the response to the presence of mutated cancer genes.

“Prebiotics represent a powerful tool to restructure gut microbiomes and identify bacteria that contribute to anti-cancer immunity,” says Dr. Scott Peterson, co-author of the study.

Certainly, prebiotics do a lot of the work to keep your good guys in your gut fed and healthy, but not all of it.

You may recall a small study I wrote about in which multi-strain probiotics played a critical role in improving the health of colon cancer patients by protecting their gut bacteria diversity.

Medical researchers are taking a very cautious approach about the use of probiotics and prebiotics when treating serious diseases like cancer, as they should be.

However, there’s little doubt that it takes a community of beneficial bacteria in a multi-strain probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic — that contains the natural prebiotic fructooligosaccharide (FOS) — to make a daily difference in your gut health and so many parts of your overall health too.

Resources

Cell Reports

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Mayo Clinic

American Cancer Society

WebMD

a jar of pills

The Impact of Medication on Gut Health

Science is well aware of the problems antibiotics and heartburn drugs can create for your gut health, all while leaving you vulnerable to even deadlier infections if you rely on them a lot.

Unfortunately, the list of non-antibiotic drugs that can affect your gut has grown sharply too (coming on the heels of a report that found metformin, a go-to drug for diabetes alters gut health).

Out of more than 1,000 drugs tested by researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, 24 percent affected the growth of at least one bacterial species in the human microbiome, according to a study appearing in Nature.

Overall, 250 out of 923 non-antibiotic drugs tested on 40 samples of selected species of human gut bacteria (including one species of Lactobacillus) altered their growth.

What’s more, 40 drugs affected at least 10 strains of gut bacteria, and 14 of them were previously unknown to have an antibacterial effect on gut bacteria. The most dramatic inhibitors of gut bacteria include these commonly prescribed medications:

  • Calcium-channel blockers that treat an array of conditions, from Raynaud’s to high blood pressure.
  • Antineoplastic drugs that treat cancer.
  • Antipsychotic drugs that treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

What concerns researchers the most?

“This shift in the composition of our gut bacteria contributes to drug side effects but might also be part of the drugs’ beneficial action,” says Peer Bork, according to a press release.

“This is scary, considering that we take many non-antibiotic drugs in our life, often for long periods,” says Nassos Typas. “Still, not all drugs will impact gut bacteria and not all resistance will be common. In some cases, resistance to specific non-antibiotics will trigger sensitivity to specific antibiotics, opening paths for designing optimal drug combinations.”

Since this study finds that individuals taking any prescription medications are inadvertently harming their gut health, they should consider taking EndoMune Advanced Probiotic to ensure their gut health isn’t being comprised by their prescribed medications.

Your gut health balance affects chemo treatments

Your ability to maintain a diverse, thriving gut microbiome by eating the right foods, using antibiotics only when you must and taking a multi-species probiotic ensures it is capable of protecting your overall health even when the worst case scenarios happen.

Like cancer.

A growing number of studies are showing how gut health is an important part in helping chemotherapy and anti-tumor drugs do their job to eradicate cancer.

No gut bacteria, no luck

A pair of studies cited in a 2014 American Cancer Society report compared the effect of specific kinds of cancer therapies — drugs, immunotherapy and platinum chemotherapy — based on its effect on germ-free mice lacking gut bacteria or animals treated with antibiotics.

No surprise, in both studies, these cancer-fighting weapons were much more effective with mice that had good gut health.

The results were most apparent in a study conducted by the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in testing the cancer drug cyclophosphamide.

In this study, researchers discovered cyclophosphamide worked best in healthier bodies because the drug affected the composition of their microbiomes that generates more immune cells and eliminates tumors.

The importance of gut health diversity before chemo

A more recent study, a collaboration by researchers at M.D. Anderson’s Infectious Diseases department and the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, shows how gut diversity can be so vital to the health of cancer patients even before they begin induction chemotherapy.

Scientists examined stool and oral samples taken from 34 patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) at three-day intervals during a 26-day course of chemotherapy.

Also, all patients were given antibiotics, no friend to good gut health, at least five times over more than six days. The concern: Physicians treat neutropenic fever, a common problem among AML patients on chemotherapy when body temperatures rise above 100˚, with antibiotics.

Interestingly, a third of the patients who maintained the diversity of their gut health or improved it experienced no infections over a 90-day span. However, 23 of the 34 patients experienced a drop in diversity over the same time and nine suffered from infections.

In fact, lead researcher Dr. Jessica Galloway-Pena of M.D. Anderson says she wants to use the human gut microbiome “as a tool” to spot which patients need extra treatments, or be prescribed a special diet, fecal transplant or probiotics, according to Medscape Medical News.

“I really think it’s not just one (species). I think it’s the community (of species) that strikes a balance. That’s why I’m not that big a proponent of probiotics with one species. I really think it’s going to be a cocktail of species that’s going to improve your outcome,” says Dr. Galloway-Pena in a recent YouTube video about her study.

This provides more evidence that taking a probiotic containing just one species of beneficial bacteria can do some good, but not nearly as much as one that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Junior.

Strengthen Your Immunity During Chemotherapy

Our newsletter recently reported that probiotics slow growth of cancerous tumors and improve outcomes of bone marrow transplant patients fighting blood cancer.

For Part 2 of this series on probiotics and cancer, we take a closer look at the role that gut health and probiotics play in strengthening immunity during chemotherapy.

In many cases, chemotherapy is a necessary tool many medical experts use to fight cancer that harms as often as it helps. Research shows that good gut health, promoted by taking a probiotic containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria, may make a difference in protecting the health of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

Good Gut Health Protects Chemotherapy Patients

A recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry uncovered a biological mechanism that protects the gastrointestinal tracts of mice given lethal doses of chemotherapy.

High doses of chemotherapy are often the only treatment for patients with late-stage metastasized cancer. This poses a great challenge to patients and doctors as higher dosages can kill healthy cells before eliminating a tumor, says Dr. Jian-Guo Geng, associate professor at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Geng’s team of researchers identified a key protein in the intestinal stem cells of mice (Robo 1) that binds with certain proteins that accelerated intestinal regeneration and repair of their gut, thus protecting their overall health.

The extra stem cells produced by this process protected their digestive tracts, enabling test animals to consume more nutrients, prevent bacterial toxins from entering the bloodstream and withstand higher doses of chemotherapy.

Between 50-75 percent of the mice treated with the Robo 1 molecule survived lethal doses of chemotherapy. All of the mice that didn’t receive the molecule died.

Probiotics May Treat Common Chemotherapy Symptoms

A review of evidence in a 2011 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests probiotics may provide benefits for the treatment of mucositis, one of the more common and harsher side effects of chemotherapy.

Mucositis is a painful inflammation and ulceration process that affects the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity of patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Although there are no established treatment plans for mucositis (due to the multiple factors that contribute to it) researchers found probiotic-based therapies can offer good health benefits, including the protection of gut bacteria and the inhibition of inflammatory cytokines (proteins that help in cell signaling).

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Get a Probiotic Radiation Shield for Your Gut

Cancer and its treatments take a toll on the human body. One of the most common methods of cancer treatment, radiation, indiscriminately destroy both malignant and healthy cells potentially creating its own host of long-term health problems.  However, new studies with lab mice out of St. Louis, Missouri’s Washington University School of Medicine have found that radiation therapy patients who take probiotics prior to receiving radiation cancer treatment therapy may gain intestinal radio-protective benefits.

Astoundingly, the study’s implications reach even further than cancer patients additionally detailing potential probiotic benefits for all individual hoping to protect themselves from general radiation or at-risk for radiation contamination.

Learn more about this study’s conclusions on the benefits of probiotics by reading the full article from NaturalNews.com

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