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Gut Microbiome and Cancer

Changing Gut Biome Fights Cancer

Can changing your gut microbiome really help you prevent cancer?

It is possible to eat certain foods that can prompt bacterial shifts to provide lasting health advantages, including cancer prevention. 

Let’s talk first about how a diet rich in plants can impact the gut microbiome. Gut bacteria feed on foods like whole grains, nuts, and beans – and produce Short-chain fatty acids that protect the colon lining from DNA damage and assist in detoxifying potential cancer-causing agents.

Curr Med Chem, 2020

Even animal foods can be beneficial to the gut. Fermented dairy products like yogurt or kefir may reduce the risk of breast or ovarian cancer by providing cell-protecting antioxidants and contributing “good” gut bacteria that regulate estrogen, a key driver in hormone-sensitive cancers.

Cureus, Aug 2021

Mood and stress are related to an imbalanced gut.

Now, Here’s an interesting side note about how probiotics can impact another area of health – your mood and stress level! Animal studies suggest that replenishing a compromised gut with beneficial bacteria may reduce chronic stress symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Sci Reports, Mar 2017

One study on women found those who consumed bioactive yogurt twice a day showed positive changes to the brain’s emotional center, supporting the validity of a powerful gut-brain connection.

Int J  Food Sci Nutr, Jun 2014

Prebiotics and Postbiotics

A well-nourished microbiome needs prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are fiber food for probiotics. Gut bacteria feed on the fiber found in soybeans, peanuts, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory roots, raw oats, unrefined wheat and barley, onions, garlic, asparagus, and bananas. Most research has focused on bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, the health-promoting groups of probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, pickled vegetables, miso, tempeh, kimchi, or even probiotic dietary supplements.

If you are looking for advice on probiotic supplements, check out my youtube clip on how to choose a great probiotic.

Take-Home Message About Gut Microbiome

A daily dose of yogurt or probiotic capsule won’t combat the harmful influence of a Western diet on the gut microbiome. Moving away from refined sugars and saturated fats to plant-based meals contributes to an optimal systemic environment for overall disease prevention and a healthier gut. At CNIQ, our dietitians suggest a series of plant powders scientifically proven to help repopulate healthy gut bacteria.

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