Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Bacteria and cancer.

The human body contains more bacteria than it does cells. These bacterial communities can have a positive effect on our health, by training our immune systems and helping to metabolise the foods we eat. But they can also set us up to develop digestive disorders, skin diseases, and obesity.

Prof Temitope Keku analysed the gut bacteria of patients who had undergone a biopsy to check for colon cancer. Her team found there were more bacteria and more different types of bacteria in those with adenomas, the precursor to colon cancer, than in controls.

In particular, in those at risk Proteobacteria was more common. This group includes E Coli and other ‘bad’ bacteria.

Keku has not answered whether bacteria shift leads to pre-cancer, or vice-versa, nor whether this can be used to prevent cancer or restore good health. 

She said “But now that we can look at bacteria and their role, it opens up a whole new world and gives us a better understanding of the entire gamut of factors involved in cancer – diet, environment, genes, and microbes.”

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June 23, 2010 - Posted by | Cancer, Diet, Genetics, Science, Temitope Keku

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