Scientists find new link between Western-style diet and colon cancer

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that a Western-style diet—rich in red and processed meat, sugar and refined grains/carbohydrates—is tied to a higher risk of colorectal cancer through the gut microbiota.

The research is published in Gastroenterology and was conducted by Shuji Ogino et al.

In the study, the team looked at data from more than 134,000 participants from two U.S.-wide prospective cohort studies.

They analyzed dietary patterns as well as DNA from Escherichia coli strains found in more than 1,000 colorectal tumors.

The team looked for bacterial strains carrying a distinct genetic island known as polyketide synthase (pks). Pks encodes an enzyme that has been shown to cause mutations in human cells.

Overall, the team found that the Western diet was associated with colorectal tumors containing high amounts of pks+ E. coli but not with tumors containing little to no amount of pks+ E. coli.

These findings support our hypothesis that Western-style diets increase colorectal cancer risk through its effect on pks+ E. coli.

This is the first study to link the Western diet with specific pathogenic bacteria in cancer.

The researchers’ next question is which component of Western-style diet and lifestyle relates to colorectal cancer containing this bacterial species.

If you care about colon cancer, please read studies about gut bacteria that could increase your colon cancer risk and drug that could stop colon cancer growth and recurrence.

For more information about cancer risk, please see recent studies about 3 things that could increase risk of colon cancer, and results showing this imaging tech could detect colon cancer with 100% accuracy.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.