colon cancer

Multi-Species Probiotics: The Next Weapon to Fight Colon Cancer?

Your gut microbiota is an incredibly diverse environment populated by trillions of tiny organisms that perform all sorts of important functions behind the scenes in the human body.

The average human gut is dominated by about 150-170 different species of bacteria, although as many as 1,000 unique species can be found. That’s a lot of diversity, although humans commonly share about a third of the same species of gut bacteria.

The more diverse the bugs that inhabit your gut are, the better your health will be. Unfortunately, diseases like colon cancer harm that healthy, stable mix of gut bacteria.

A growing number of studies have shown how probiotics made from multiple strains of beneficial bacteria do a great job of making up for fluctuations in diet that deplete your diverse microbiome and treating conditions like constipation.

Multi-species probiotics may play a larger role in the treatment of colon cancer too, based on the recent findings of a small study featured in BMJ Open Gastroenterology.

A Swedish research team at the University of Gothenburg tracked the health of 15 patients with malignant cases of colon cancer who were given probiotics.

At the start, scientists studied the gut health of colon cancer patients by taking biopsies and fecal samples, then comparing them to similar samples from 21 healthy patients.

Eight patients received a probiotic containing proprietary strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis (these bacterial strains are contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic), while the rest received no probiotic.

Biopsies on colon cancer patients showed a different composition of the microbiota in tumor tissues and surrounding mucosa compared samples from healthy patients.

However, the gut health of colon cancer patients treated with probiotics improved due to the increased production of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid linked to promoting better colon health and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the intestines.

The next phase of research for researchers: Working with a larger group of patients whose colon cancer diagnoses are in a pre-malignant stage in hopes of working toward prevention.

Besides taking a multi-species probiotic, what else can you do to reduce your risks of colon cancer? Here’s four more things you can do today.

  1. Avoid excess contact with antibacterial soaps and antibiotics linked to antibacterial resistance.
  2. Take a daily supplement that includes the right amounts of calcium (1,000-1,200 mg) or vitamin D (1,000 IU) per day.
  3. Fight the obesity epidemic by losing a few pounds and moving a bit more with exercise.
  4. Get screened for colon cancer with annual blood work (a high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test) and less frequently with a flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.

Colon cancer patients are getting younger

For the longest time, the incidence of colon cancer — the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and third among women in America — has been confined to older people.

Some 90 percent of all new cases of colon cancer occur in patients age 50 and older, and the average age of diagnosis has been age 72. Until now…

Research by the American Cancer Society has shown a steady uptick in colorectal cancer rates among young and middle-age adults including those in their early 50s, according to a recent report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

By the numbers

Based on a deeper look at the demographics, researchers discovered colon cancer rates had increased by as much as 1-2 percent per year from the mid 1980s to 2013 among adults ages 20-39.

The numbers are even more alarming for rectal cancer, with cases rising about 3 percent annually among adults ages 20-29 (1974-2013) and adults ages 30-39 (1980-2013).

“Our finding that colorectal cancer risk for millennials has escalated back to the level of those born in the late 1800s is very sobering,” said Dr. Rebecca Siegel of the American Cancer Society, according to a press release.

In fact, the trend toward younger colon cancer patients over the past two decades has closed a once wider gap in disease risks and patients in their early 50s compared to those in their late 50s, the study says.

Also, an increase of new cases among patients ranging in age from their 40s to early 50s in 2013 has prompted researchers to suggest starting colorectal cancer screenings for patients at average risk earlier than age 50.

(Due to higher incidences and lower survival rates, the American College of Gastroenterology published guidelines that recommend colon cancer screenings for African-Americans starting at age 45.)

5 ways to prevent colon cancer

No matter how gloomy the stats appear on the surface, the underlying good news here is that it’s pretty easy to reduce your risks of colon cancer if you’re willing to take some simple preventative steps.

  1. Get screened! There are an array of tests at your disposal, from a high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT) done annually to the flexible sigmoidoscopy (five years) and colonoscopy (10 years).
  1. Fight the obesity bug with exercise and a healthy diet. Obesity increases your odds of colon and rectal cancer by 30 percent, and higher BMIs elevate those cancer risks among men even more. Instead of trying and failing to conquer obesity with a home run punch, however, many scientists suggest a more measured, steadier approach. In fact, a 2016 study from Washington University concluded the greatest health benefits come from patients losing just 5 percent of their body weight.
  1. Take a supplement. If you’re taking a daily supplement for your good health, make sure it includes the right amount of vitamin D (1,000 IU) and calcium (1,000-1,200 mg), two proven colon cancer fighters.
  1. Reduce your contact with antibiotics and antibacterial soaps. Relying too often on antibiotics not only upsets the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Exposure to a common antibiotic like penicillin can increase your risk for colon cancer by promoting a “pro-inflammatory environment” for up to a decade before a diagnosis. Plus, it’s time to give up antibacterial soaps, toothpastes and personal hygiene products that contain triclosan, an endocrine disruptor and antimicrobial compound linked to bacterial resistance.
  1. Take a probiotic. The best step to ensure your continued good health, and protect the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut: Take a multi-strain probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic or EndoMune Advanced Junior (for your kids).

The Western lifestyle is harming your gut health

There’s no denying the typical Western lifestyle — consuming diets high in processed foods, red meat, refined sugars, carbohydrates and saturated fats — has fueled the current obesity epidemic plaguing much of the industrialized world.

Part of the damage done to our bodies is how our health has changed drastically to compensate for eating these calorie-rich, nutrient-poor diets, doing great harm to our gut microbiota.

A trio of 2015 studies show how the human gut health varies according to lifestyle and geography, and, in one case, how quickly one’s gut health can change.

Native populations have more diverse gut microbiomes

Two studies compared the gut microbiomes of natives in various non-industrialized communities around the world to those U.S. residents.

In one study comparing the gut microbiomes of people living in the U.S. to those in non-industrialized Papau New Guinea (published in Cell Reports), scientists discovered Americans lacked some 50 different species of gut bacteria.

Why? Western lifestyles that reduce the ability of bacteria to move from person-to-person (bacterial dispersion) via drinking water or sanitation may have contributed to these differences in gut bacteria, says study co-author Dr. Jens Walter of the University of Alberta Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science.

This discovery implies a connection to the hygiene hypothesis, in which the body’s immunities and gut health are harmed by constant exposure to antibacterial soaps, bottled water, antibiotics and disinfectants.

The real challenge posed by this study is developing methods to reduce the damage done to human gut health without jeopardizing the benefits, says study co-author Dr. Andrew Greenhill of Federation University Australia.

The same lack of gut bacteria was also discovered in another study, appearing in Nature Communications. This study compares Americans living in Norman, Okla., to native farmers and hunter-gatherers living in Peru and the Amazon.

In this study, the genus Treponema, a family of bacteria that has co-existed for millions of years in humans and primates, was missing in industrialized populations.

“In our study, we show that these lost bacteria are in fact multiple species that are likely capable of fermenting fiber and generating short chain fatty acids in the gut. Short chain fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties,” says Cecil Lewis, co-director of the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research at the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences, in a press release.

“This raises an important question: could these lost Treponema be keystone species that explain the increased risk for autoimmune disorders in industrialized people?”

Multi-national diet changes quickly alter colon cancer risks

Western diets were blamed for rapid gut health changes that raised the risks of colon cancer in a third study appearing in Nature Communications, comparing the health of African-Americans in the U.S. to native Africans living in rural South Africa.

Twenty African-Americans swapped diets with a similar number of native South Africans for two weeks. Before and after the change in diets, all patients were given colonoscopies. Also, researchers examined biological markers that measured a patient’s risks of colon cancer, along with bacterial samples taken from the colon.

At the beginning, nearly half of the Americans participating in the study had polyps (growths in the colon that can evolve into colon cancer). Americans who followed the African diet experienced a reduction in biomarkers for cancer, significantly lessening the inflammation in their colons and an increase in butyrate, a byproduct of metabolizing fiber linked to key anti-cancer benefits.

Conversely, the cancer risk for African patients following a westernized diet, one low in fiber but high in protein and fat, increased dramatically too.

Both sets of findings underscore how a change in diet can quickly and dramatically alter one’s health for better or worse. The obvious difference in the Western diet was the lack of dietary fiber, according to Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, of Imperial College London in a press release.

“This is not new in itself but what is really surprising is how quickly and dramatically the risk markers can switch in both groups following [a] diet change. These findings also raise serious concerns that the progressive westernization of African communities may lead to the emergence of colon cancer as a major health issue.”

Increasing your daily intake of dietary fiber by 30 grams (about 1 ounce) can also help you lose weight and help reduce cardiovascular problems.

Boosting your intake of dietary fiber, along with taking a quality probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, provides even greater benefits.

Eating more fiber feeds your gut bacteria the starches it needs to jump-start the fermentation process to provide nourishment to the cells lining the colon. As a result, the intestinal tract becomes much healthier and functions more effectively.

Adding a probiotic containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune, not only increases the fermentation process of fiber in the gut, it reduces the impact of various diseases.

Testing your gut bacteria: A new way to screen for colon cancer

Despite our growing awareness of colon cancer, a recent report about the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America has predicted a dramatic jump in this disease over the next 15 years. Unfortunately, this worrisome rise is among millennials and Gen Xers, not the typical age groups linked to colon cancer (those over age 50).

Currently, colon cancer screening methods (usually for patients over age 50) include uncomfortable tests like a colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and double-contrast barium enema.

A pair of recent studies may have found new, non-invasive methods to effectively screen for colon cancer via a patient’s gut bacteria, which can complement existing tests.

Studying the human microbiome for clues to colon cancer

European researchers looking for signs of early stage tumors compared stool samples taken from 42 patients with precancerous intestinal polyps, 53 patients with advanced rectal or colon cancer and 61 healthy patients prior to the typical colon cleanse before a colonoscopy, according to the study published in Molecular Systems Biology.

Many factors were taken into consideration, from examining DNA sequencing and cataloging the genetic makeup of gut bacteria to collecting information about key factors that influence colon cancer (ethnicity, body mass index and age).

Scientists discovered that a subspecies of Fusobacterium nucleatum was present in colon cancer patients, and validated later in an independent cohort study of 335 patients from various countries. (This newer study mirrored the findings of a 2013 report that identified Fusobacterium nucleatum as a factor in increasing the likelihood of tumors.)

Testing gut bacteria using genetic analysis in tandem with existing procedures like the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) increased the accuracy of testing by 45 percent compared to the blood test alone.

Moreover, using genetic testing may be more effective in detecting early stages of colon cancer compared to the FOBT, said study co-author Dr. Julian Tap to Gut Microbiota Worldwatch.

Could gut microbiome testing be more accurate?

Examining the gut microbiome for signs of colon cancer yielded similar results in another study published in Cancer Prevention Research that compared stool samples from 30 healthy patients to equal numbers of patients with precancerous polyps and invasive colon cancer.

After identifying gut bacteria signatures for each group and including age and racial information in the mix, scientists were able to improve their ability to predict the presence of precancerous polyps by more than 400 percent. Adding body mass index with the rest of those factors increased the ability to predict invasive colon cancer by more than a factor of 5.

Also, analyzing gut microbiomes was more accurate than using the FOBT in determining which patients had precancerous polyps compared to invasive colon cancer.

“We found that the composition of the gut microbiome allowed us to identify who in our study had precancerous adenomatous polyps and who had invasive colorectal cancer,” said study co-author Dr. Patrick Schloss, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in a press release.

“If our results are confirmed in larger groups of people, adding gut microbiome analysis to other fecal tests may provide an improved, noninvasive way to screen for colorectal cancer,” Schloss continued.

These studies provide another opportunity to remind you that microbial imbalances in your gut—greater amounts of bad bacteria versus beneficial bacteria—are a serious indicator of colon cancer.

However, taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic offers many benefits, including increasing the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria that can protect your health from colon cancer.

The colon cancer-antibiotics connection

Taking antibiotics over the course of your life often contributes to a number of health problems, including bacterial imbalances that deplete the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut.

A study presented at last year’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology concluded that long-term and repeated exposure to some antibiotics modestly may increase your risk of colon cancer.

Researchers used the Health Improvement Network, a large population-based database of patients in the United Kingdom, to access the records of colon cancer patients.

Overall, scientists compared the health of some 22,000 colon cancer patients to nearly 86,000 healthy patients over a six-year period, taking into account risk factors for colon cancer (smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption and diabetes). Then, they tracked the use of antibiotics for at least six months prior to a colon cancer diagnosis.

While there was no connection between anti-viral or anti-fungal drugs, there was a link to some antibiotics, including metronidazole, quinolones and penicillins. Exposure to those antibiotics increased a patient’s risk of colon cancer by up to 11 percent.

Of those antibiotics, exposure to penicillin proved to be the most problematic. The risk of colon cancer continued for patients taking antibiotics for up to a decade before their diagnosis. The possible cause, according to researchers: penicillin has an effect on gut bacteria.

“Certain bacteria might promote a pro-inflammatory environment,” co-investigator Dr. Yu-Xiao Yang said to ClinicalOncology News. “Others may alter or generate toxins that might potentially be carcinogenic or might transform certain dietary or intestinal content into carcinogenic components.

“Looking at what are more biologically plausible effects of antibiotics on colorectal cancer risk, we should be looking at longer-term exposure, or exposure in the more distant past.”

(One of the side effects connected with taking penicillin, according to the Mayo Clinic: A greater likelihood for people with stomach or intestinal diseases to develop colitis.)

The best thing you can do to protect the health of you and your family when antibiotics are prescribed: Take a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic or EndoMune Advanced Junior (for kids). Probiotics with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune protect the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.

Taking a probiotic about two hours after an antibiotic will reduce the risk of these drugs depleting the live, beneficial bacteria that protect your gut.

Another safety tip: Avoid using antibacterial soaps and personal hygiene products (body soaps, toothpaste and cosmetics) that contain triclosan, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound also linked to bacterial resistance.

Take these 5 steps to prevent colon cancer

You may recall an earlier blog post discussing colon cancer, the second leading cause of death due to cancer and the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women in the United States according to the CDC.

Until recently, health experts assumed most cases of colon cancer were confined to patients over age 50. However, a report discussed at the annual Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium predicted the incidence of colon cancer will rise dramatically among 20-34-year-olds (90 percent) and to a lesser degree among 35-49-year-olds (28 percent) by 2030.

These predictions about the sharp rise in colon cancer among younger adults are especially alarming considering how avoidable this disease really is. Following these simple steps will help reduce your risk of colon cancer and many other diseases, too.

Beat the obesity bug

The plague of obesity in America—more than a third of adults are obese—contributes to scores of health problems (stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various forms of cancers including colon cancer).

Fortunately, there are many ways to beat the obesity bug, and it doesn’t take as much time and effort on your part to make that happen.

For example, the results of a preliminary study of colon cancer patients released last summer found that eating fish less than twice a week or exercising less than an hour a week more than doubled their risks of a recurrence.

Imagine how beneficial doing those two small things alone would be for you?

Get enough calcium and vitamin D

There is good evidence that taking enough calcium and vitamin D (two of the eight supplements you need to take for your good health) can help to protect you against colon cancer. Be sure to take enough of a dose of calcium (1,000-1,200 mg) and vitamin D (1,000 IU) every day.

Cut down on red/processed meats

The link between red and processed meats and the elevated risk of colon cancer is strong, possibly due to a link with a common gene variant affecting about a third of all adults, according to a 2013 study.

The good news: Based on that same study, researchers identified another genetic variant that may lower people’s risk of colon cancer when they eat more fiber, fruit and vegetables.

For a safe baseline on eating red meat, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends a limit of 18 ounces (cooked) per week.

Limit those lifestyle factors

When discussing how to prevent cancers, many experts lean heavily on cutting out smoking altogether and drinking alcoholic beverages to a minimum for good reason.

For colon cancer, research has pointed to changing the way nutrients are metabolized as one solid reason to reduce your consumption of alcohol, according to the American Cancer Society.

As far as the risk of smoking tobacco elevating one’s colon cancer risks, many studies have connected the dots between the two (a 2009 study cited as much as a 60 percent increase of colon cancer due to smoking).

However, the U.S. Surgeon General’s office was reluctant to make that conclusion until the most recent report released in January, spanning a half-century and 31 reports.

“Amazingly, smoking is even worse than we knew. Even after 50 years, we’re still finding new ways that smoking maims and kills people,” CDC Director Thomas Hayden told USA Today.

Take a probiotic

A 2013 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute cited a serious cause of colon cancer: Microbial imbalances in intestinal bacteria. In fact, colon cancer patients were more likely to be depleted of some beneficial bacteria and have more “bad” bacteria linked to gut inflammation than healthy patients.

Another factor in microbial imbalances in your gut: Taking antibiotics over the long term that eliminates the good and bad bacteria in your gut indiscriminately.

The good news: Taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Advanced Junior (for kids) can give your immune system a much-needed boost by increasing the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria, thus protecting your health from colon cancer.

 

Can colon cancer be prevented with a probiotic?

Colon cancer is an equal opportunity killer in America, cutting across all racial and ethnic lines. Out of the nearly 600,000 cancer deaths predicted in 2014, colon cancer is the third leading cause for men and women, according to the American Cancer Society.

Until recently, most of the deaths linked to colon cancer were confined to Americans over age 50. However, recent findings showed a decline in cases among older patients and an alarming rise among younger patients ages 20-49.

If a predictive model holds true over the next two decades, colon cancer cases will rise by 90 percent among patients ages 20-34 and 28 percent among patients ages 35-49.

There are many ways to prevent colon cancer, ranging from the simple — consuming fewer processed meats, getting more exercise and taking a multi-vitamin — to the complex and problematic — taking an aspirin or Celebrex.

A growing number of studies have shown gut health may be the key to avoiding colon cancer altogether, giving rise to the belief that taking a probiotic and fewer antibiotics may be one more way to treat this non-discriminating killer.

Microbial imbalances lead to cancer

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and Baylor College of Medicine may have settled the fact that microbial imbalances contribute to colon cancer once and for all.

Scientists came to this conclusion after exposing healthy mice to fecal matter from cancerous animals. Mice that were exposed to fecal matter from cancerous animals doubled the likelihood they would develop tumors, compared to similar matter from disease-free animals.

Interventions via antibiotics reduced the number and size of tumors in mice significantly, leading scientists to suggest that taking a probiotic may prevent changes in the gut microbiome that trigger the development of colon cancer.

More bad bugs than good bugs

The delicate balance between the good and bad gut bacteria was clearly implicated as a cause for colon cancer in a recent Journal of the National Cancer Institute study.

After comparing the DNA composition of intestinal microbes in stool samples of 94 healthy patients to 47 colon cancer patients, scientists discovered cancer patients had more fusobacteria, organisms found in the mouth and gastrointestional tract that are associated with gut inflammation.

Colon cancer patients were also more likely to be depleted of clostridia, beneficial bacteria that helps your gut digest carbohydrates and dietary fiber better.

Bad bacteria vs. your genes

New research featured in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found the incidence of colon cancer may be dictated by more than genetics.

Although colon cancer can occur when healthy cells undergo genetic alterations, specific kinds of this disease may also happen in specific locations in the intestine, suggesting non-genetic causes.

Researchers came to this conclusion when they stopped the development of polyps in mice, altering their gut bacteria by giving them antibiotics. As we know, however, antibiotics may create as many health problems as they solve.

Although more studies will be needed to identify which bacteria triggered colon cancer, scientists suspect non-genetic factors may contribute too. “In addition to genetic changes, various lifestyle-related factors, such as obesity and diet, have been linked to colorectal cancer,” said lead researcher Dr. Sergio Lira.

“Some of these lifestyle factors appear to affect the types of bacteria present in the gut. Ultimately, understanding the interplay between genetic mutations, gut microbes and inflammation may lead to novel diagnostics and therapies for intestinal cancer.”

Unfortunately, the health complications linked with antibiotics — namely obesity — if you take them too often can create their own set of undesirable problems.

The good news: Improving your gut health is as easy as following a better diet and taking a daily probiotic made from multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

10 Reasons Everyone Should Take a Probiotic

With 100 trillion bacteria and many different species of microflora floating around in our intestinal tract, a balance of good and bad bacteria is necessary to maintain the normal functioning of our immune system and intestines, as well as to promote optimal health.

Considering the recent attention being paid to probiotics—many positive medical studies have been reported in the mainstream media—more people are asking why they need to take a probiotic to protect and improve their overall health.

Here are 10 reasons to take a probiotic for your good health:

1. Your body is under constant attack externally (from exposure to bad bacteria) and internally (our go-go lifestyles hinder our eating habits). Taking a good probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of good bacteria, is the safest, easiest and most effective way to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your body.

2. The human body cannot replenish the various strains of live and beneficial bacteria your body needs every day to stay healthy just by eating foods like yogurt, miso soup, pickles and sauerkraut that usually contain limited amounts of a single strain of bacteria. This is especially true if you’re using probiotics to treat a specific health problem.

3. Probiotics containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria are more effective in treating a range of health-based problems, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, immune function and respiratory tract infections, according to a 2011 analysis of studies.

4. A growing number of studies are showing how taking a probiotic can be beneficial for patients when they are prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic. Antibiotics can often disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in patients’ bodies, causing unwelcome side effects like diarrhea.

5. Taking a good probiotic boosts patients’ natural defenses, protecting them from traveler’s diarrhea, too.

6. New moms can sidestep the prolonged crying and discomfort from their babies suffering infantile colic by giving them a high-quality probiotic.

7. Recent studies have been linked with taking a high-quality probiotic to beneficial effects on the gut-brain axis that may positively affect your emotions and help you beat depression.

8. The healthy bacteria contained in a good probiotic help maintain normal intestinal motility and lessen the problems of constipation.

9. Reducing your risks of colon cancer is as simple as taking a good probiotic.

10. Probiotics are a newfound weapon that may assist in lowering elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels that contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Endomune Special Edition News

March is Colon Cancer Awareness MonthCan probiotics help prevent colon cancer?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and women.

The majority of these cases could have been prevented if people followed the recommended screening tests. Currently, only about 50% of people aged 50 or older have these tests performed.

Causes of Colon Cancer

In most cases, it’s not clear what causes colon cancer. Recently, there have been a number of scientific articles on how inflammation in the colon can contribute to the development of colon cancer.

Colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon become damaged by inflammation. Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way, but sometimes this growth gets out of control. Over a period of time some of these abnormal cells may become cancerous.

The following are some interesting observations that give insight to the causes of colon cancer:

  1. The incidence of colon cancer is far higher in developed countries than in developing countries because Western diets are rich in red meat, saturated fats, and processed sugars.
  2. Our intestinal bacteria influence our health, and the scientific research proving this is rapidly expanding.
  3. Studies have found there are more bacteria producing potential carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) when exposed to a typical Western diet.
  4. These carcinogens cause an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal lining cells, which damages the cell’s DNA and increases the risk for developing cancers cells.
  5. Some strains of intestinal bacteria have been shown to inhibit carcinogen-induced colon tumor development in research studies.
  6. Bolstering the body’s balance of intestinal bacteria may help prevent colon cancer.

 

Lower the Risk of Colon Cancer

Based on the information above, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Start taking a high quality probiotic that contains multi bacterial strains and multispecies of bacteria. Studies suggest a daily dosage of at least 8-10 billion.
  2. Adhere to a healthy diet containing high fiber, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats, particularly fish and chicken.
  3. Exercise vigorously for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
  4. Maintain an ideal body weight.
  5. Start colon cancer screening, preferably with a colonoscopy at age 50.
  6. Start earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer, ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, or a change in stool habits or see blood in your stool.

Colon cancer is treatable if found in its early stages. Visit your healthcare provider to arrange for the appropriate screening. Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. And take a high quality probiotic like EndoMune that contains 10 bacterial strains. A serving size of two capsules provides 16 billion healthy bacterial colonies!

Eat healthy, exercise, take EndoMune and live well!

Lawrence J. Hoberman MD

Yale Workshop on Probiotics Presents New Research

I just returned from the 3rd Yale Workshop on “Advances in Probiotic Use” and am pleased to report there is a large amount of active research in the area of the intestinal bacteria. Namely, research is examining how bacteria impact human health and disease.

Among various findings, researchers presented new information about how probiotic bacteria can modulate the intestinal immune system. They have discovered how probiotic bacteria interact with the intestinal lining cells to improve the inflammatory conditions that occur due to infection colitis and ulcerative colitis.

In addition, there were a number of discussions about how the healthy intestinal bacteria can break down or ferment indigestible dietary starches. The breakdown products (short chain fatty acids) enhance the intestinal function, improve intestinal motility and lessen the risk of colon cancer. This is called a symbiotic relationship – mutually beneficial for the human host and the bacteria.

The conclusions from the various presentations are that probiotics can:

  • Lessen irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
  • Shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea in children
  • Aid in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Aid in the management of ulcerative colitis
  • Aid in the prevention of childhood allergies like eczema


Transplantation Therapy to Improve Bacteria Balance

An infection with a bacterium called Clostridia difficile can cause life-threatening colitis. The infection occurs when the healthy intestinal bacteria are reduced as a result of taking an antibiotic for something like a sinus infection.

There are special antibiotics that can destroy the Clostridia difficile infection. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for the infection to recur multiple times in the same person despite taking appropriate antibiotics to kill the Clostridia difficile organisms.

In an attempt to treat Clostridia difficile, a new innovative form of therapy was also discussed. The therapy involves the transplantation of stool from healthy individuals into patients as a means to re-establish a healthy intestinal bacterial balance.

There have been a few published case reports dating back to 1958 of transplanting healthy stool into patients who had recurrent Clostridia infections, and the results were very promising. Larger trials of infusing suspensions of healthy stool into ill patients have been recently done. The results have shown a cure rate of more than 90% within two days!!

This presentation was very thought provoking. To have this type of cure rate certainly indicates the importance of the healthy intestinal bacteria. The procedure is aesthetically unpleasing, but the alternative is to give the healthy bacteria in capsule form – accomplished when probiotics are prescribed.


Take Home Message

All of the presentations at the Yale Workshop provide further evidence of the importance of a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria. In addition, the studies confirm that probiotic bacteria have many beneficial benefits in helping to improve and maintain normal intestinal immune and digestive functions.

Please consider taking a high quality probiotic like EndoMune if you are going to take antibiotics or if you are struggling with ongoing GI symptoms despite medical evaluation.

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