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Colon Cancer Linked to Gut Bacteria: Study Finds Connection

A study from the University of Minnesota has found that two strains of virulent bacteria in the gut significantly increase the incidence of colon cancer, and a change in microbiology of the gut often coincides with colon cancer. The study tested 88 people, of which half had colon tumors.

The scientists sampled and analyzed gut bacteria within the subjects to assess their microbiomes. They found that colon cancers were linked to those with microbiomes that had increased levels of Fusobacteria and Providencia species of bacteria. The latter is considered more virulent and responsible for the production of certain enzymes that have been previously linked with colon cancer.

These two species of bacteria have also been linked with higher rates of inflammation and infection in other research. Fusobacteria has been found prevalent among people with ulcerative colitis. Providencia species include E. coli and Klebsiella, both found among urinary tract infections, throat infections and others.

Microbiological science over the past half a century has found that better food choices can bring about significant healthful changes in the body’s microbiome. These include incorporating prebiotic and fermented foods into one’s diet.

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