Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Colorectal cancer: More evidence that Western-style diet may increase risk


Jul. 3, 2022 Medical News Today

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is any cancer affecting the colon, hence “colo,” and rectum, hence “rectal”. It is the third most common and second deadliest diagnosed cancer in the United States, claiming over 50,000 lives every year.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA recently observed that CRC tumors with high levels of pks+ E. coli bacteria correlate with diets rich in red and processed meats and empty calories.

They believe that unhealthy foods may stimulate the cancer-inducing activity of colibactin, a substance deriving from E. coli, in the gut.

Their findings appear in Gastroenterology.

Dr. Shuji Ogino, chief of the Molecular Pathological Epidemiology Program in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was the study’s corresponding author.

E. coli, colibactin, and diet

E. coli is a normal part of the gut microbiome. However, certain strains of this bacterium hold a distinct cluster of genes known as the polyketide synthase (pks) island.

These pks+ E. coli strains produce colibactin, a toxic metabolite that can damage DNA and trigger cellular mutations that promote CRC.

Consumption of a typical Western diet — also sometimes called an “American diet” — consisting mainly of red and processed meats, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, can cause intestinal and systemic inflammation, precursors to colorectal tumors.

A poor diet is also tied to an imbalance of intestinal microbiota, another factor related to CRC. Furthermore, prior studies have linked E. coli and other bacteria to this cancer.

Consequently, Dr. Ogino and his team suspected that a Western diet might induce a stronger risk for tumors with considerable amounts of pks+ E. coli. Up to this point, though, they did not know whether the diet’s correlation with CRC varies by gut bacteria.

Read More on Medical News Today

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

35+ Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Last minute dishes can be delicious and healthy.

Read More

What to Know About Diabetes and the Risk of Silent Heart Attacks

xxx

Read More

Low carb diet may reduce type 2 diabetes risk, promote weight loss

More support for eating a healthy, whole food diet.

Read More

What Happens If I Get COVID-19 and the Flu at the Same Time?

What to know as we move into "sick" season.

Read More

Happy Thanksgiving

We're Grateful for You!

Read More

These 5 tricks will help you spend less this holiday season

You don't have to choose between spending a lot or skimping on gifts this year.

Read More

To Get Employees Back to the Office, Address These 4 Frictions

An innovation expert explains how to meet resistance head-on.

Read More

I’m Overwhelmed. What Can I Do?

How flexible emotion regulation can help improve your mental health.

Read More