Navy beans offer a boost for gut health in colon cancer survivors

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Recent research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center points to an intriguing connection between navy beans and improved gut health, particularly for survivors of colorectal cancer (CRC).

This study suggests that a simple dietary addition could have significant health benefits.

The BE GONE Trial: Understanding the Impact

Published in eBioMedicine, the study, known as the BE GONE trial, involved 48 participants over 30 years old, all either obese or having a history of bowel lesions, including CRC or high-risk, precancerous polyps.

Over eight weeks, these individuals either followed their normal diet or added a cup of navy beans daily. The researchers then analyzed changes in their gut microbiome.

Remarkably, those who included navy beans in their diet experienced positive shifts in their gut bacteria. There was an increase in beneficial bacteria like Faecalibacterium, Eubacterium, and Bifidobacterium, and a decrease in harmful bacteria.

This is notable because a diverse and healthy gut microbiome is linked to cancer prevention and better treatment outcomes.

The Significance of Navy Beans in Diet

Navy beans, rich in fibers and amino acids, support the growth of good bacteria in the colon. This, in turn, enhances immune health and helps regulate inflammation.

Despite their health benefits and affordability, navy beans are often overlooked in American diets, mainly due to potential gastrointestinal side effects. However, these can be minimized with proper preparation and regular consumption.

Participants in the study were allowed to choose and prepare their meals, with guidance from a dietitian.

The criteria for adherence to the study were consuming at least 80% of the prescribed beans and following the regimen at least five days a week.

Notably, no serious side effects were reported, and the beans did not trigger gut inflammation or significantly alter bowel habits, an important consideration for CRC survivors.

Future Directions and Caution

While the study’s findings are promising, lead researcher Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, Ph.D., emphasizes the need for medical consultation before adopting such a diet, as it may not be suitable for everyone.

The positive impacts were also found to diminish quickly once participants stopped consuming the beans, highlighting the importance of maintaining consistent healthy eating habits.

This research underlines the therapeutic potential of naturally prebiotic-rich foods like navy beans in cancer care.

Looking ahead, the team plans to explore a wider variety of prebiotic foods and their impact on patients undergoing immunotherapy, opening new avenues for dietary interventions in cancer treatment and prevention.

In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the role of diet in managing health post-cancer treatment.

It underscores the potential of simple, natural foods in supporting gut health and overall well-being, particularly for those at high risk of or recovering from colorectal cancer.

If you care about cancer, please read studies about a new method to treat cancer effectively, and this low-dose, four-drug combo may block cancer spread.

For more information about cancer prevention, please see recent studies about nutrient in fish that can be a poison for cancer, and results showing this daily vitamin is critical to cancer prevention.

The research findings can be found in eBioMedicine.

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