A new study conducted by scientists in Italy suggests that eating the Mediterranean diet may help prevent colon cancer and other gut diseases.
The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Spain.
This diet emphasizes healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, and recent research has found that it can lower inflammation in the body, improve blood vessel function, and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
The largest population of microorganisms in the human body resides in the intestine and is collectively called the gut microbiota.
Previous studies have found that an imbalance of gut microbiota is a common feature in colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut microbiota is important in preventing these diseases.
To examine the effect of the Mediterranean diet on gut microbiota, the researchers reviewed findings from published studies in which people followed the Mediterranean diet or other diets.
They also examined the risks of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or other gut-related diseases in the participants.
The researchers found that the gut microbiota linked to the Mediterranean diet was enriched in bacteria that promote an anti-inflammatory environment in the gut and are low in pro-inflammatory properties.
In contrast, patients with intestinal diseases, including cancer, had gut environments with pro-inflammatory properties, which can make diseases worse.
The team found that some of these differences were maintained even when the Mediterranean diet was compared to healthy people without a defined diet.
These findings highlight the unique effects of the Mediterranean diet on the gut microbiota.
The researchers suggest that integrating the Mediterranean diet into a person’s lifestyle may help prevent colon cancer and other gut-related diseases.
One limitation of the study is that the research findings reviewed had a different number of subjects in each diet group, as well as their gender or age.
In addition, valuable information on the bacterial composition was available but did not allow the researchers to evaluate their metabolic activity. Future work may help address these issues.
Overall, this study adds to the growing body of evidence that the Mediterranean diet has numerous health benefits, including promoting healthy gut microbiota, which may help prevent colon cancer and other gut-related diseases.
Encouraging people to adopt this diet may lead to a healthier population and a lower incidence of gut diseases.
If you care about colon cancer, please read studies that common high blood pressure drugs may lower colon cancer risk, and findings of vegetable that may help lower your cancer risk.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that blackcurrants can reduce blood sugar after meal and results showing how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer.
The research is published in Nutrients and was conducted by Oscar Illescas et al.
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