Studies into the bacteria that reside in the large bowel (the colon) have come up with some exciting findings over these last few years, but what is becoming increasingly evident is just how closely connected these bacteria are with our health. A new study appears to provide the strongest evidence yet that these bacteria are the link between our diet and the development of a group of bowel (or colorectal) cancers.
The latest study conducted in the US focused on one particular species called Fusobacterium nucleatum, which is particularly associated with the development of cancer. This huge study tracked the diets of over 137,000 people for a period of more than 20 years and discovered that people who ate a diet rich in fibre and whole grains were much less likely to develop cancer in the bowel when this bacteria was present.
The bacteria species that reside in our gut are dependent upon the diets we follow. Low fibre diets appear to encourage the proliferation of bacteria that don’t support good health, whereas a high fibre diet does.
Original News Release
Mehta et al (2017) Association of Dietary Patterns With Risk of Colorectal Cancer Subtypes Classified by FusobacteriumNucleatum in Tumor Tissue. JAMA Oncol doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.6374
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat.