New research conducted in the University of California, Los Angeles suggests that different types of gut bacteria may be able to inhibit the development of cancer.
The research was published in the peer-reviewed article PLOS ONE. It provided evidence showing that certain strains of beneficial, anti-inflammatory gut bacteria can slow or even completely stop the development of some types of cancer.
During the study, researchers found that the beneficial gut bacteria reduced gene damage and inflammation, which is significant as both of these factors are caused by cancer.
Previous research conducted by study author Robert Schiestl was the first to show evidence of a relationship between gut bacteria and the inhibition of cancer development. The more recent one focused on how this relationship occurs.
Both of the studies were conducted on mice that had a neurological disorder called ataxia telangiectasia, which is associated with susceptibility to cancers such as leukemia, lymphomas and others.
Researchers split up the mice into two groups. They gave one group only beneficial, anti-inflammatory bacteria and gave the other group a mix of anti-inflammatory and inflammatory bacteria which would normally be found in the intestines.
Researchers found that the cancer took a significantly longer time to develop in the mice that were given only beneficial bacteria compared to the mice that were given both.
During the more recent study, researchers analyzed the metabolites found in the mice’s urine and feces. They found that the mice who were given only beneficial bacteria produced metabolites that are well known for preventing cancer. Researchers also found that these mice had a more efficient oxidative metabolism, and that both of these factors contribute to the cancer-preventative effects of beneficial gut bacteria.
Schiestl believes that this evidence may provide people with a natural, non-invasive way to prevent cancer, as some of the beneficial bacteria that was tested can be found in many food products, specifically the strain Lactobacillus johnsonii.
“It is not invasive and rather easy to do,” Schiestl said. “Since it is a Lactobacillus strain, it makes excellent yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut.”