by Karen Foster
April 20, 2016
Intestinal bacteria play a key role in causing and preventing many
diseases. Some experts suggest specific bacteria can prevent all
A new study has once again suggested
they could also reduce cancer risk.
There are over
400 species of bacteria in your belly right now that can be the
key to health or disease.
Health care of the future may include personalized diagnosis of an
individual's "microbiome" to determine what probiotics are needed to
provide balance and prevent disease.
A role for gut microbes in gastrointestinal function has been well
documented since researchers first described differences in the
fecal bacteria of people with specific disease including cancer.
According to the paper, microbiota might
delay the onset of cancer, with
probiotic supplementation playing a role.
The genomes of the bacteria and viruses of the human gut alone are
thought to encode 3.3 million genes.
Data shows the gut
many bodily processes and systems however the exact implications of
dysbiosis are yet to be fully explained.
The microbiota has been
shown to influence,
In addition, its role in
glutamine and tryptophan metabolism, as well as oxidative stress
and immune response metabolites has been well documented.
Recent studies have largely focused on
the regulatory and signaling pathways that are directly affected by
However, studies that directly
examine the metabolic consequences of gut microbiome alterations are
few and far between.
The Science Part
Lactobacillus strain has many
commercial applications with its cultures found in yogurt.
Researchers from the University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA) began by isolating the bacterium
Lactobacillus johnsonii 456, which is abundant in beneficial
This Lactobacillus strain has many commercial applications
with its cultures found in,
Next, the team used mice that were bred
with an ATM gene mutation.
This made them susceptible to ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), a neurological disorder associated with a high
incidence of leukemia, lymphomas and other cancers.
The mice were then placed into one of
two groups. One group were given only anti-inflammatory bacteria and
the other received a mix of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory
microbes that normally co-exist in the intestines.
In an analysis of the mice's urine and
feces, the scientists found that mice receiving only the beneficial
microbiota produced metabolites that are known to prevent cancer.
Those mice also had more efficient fat
and oxidative metabolism, which the researchers believe might also
lower the risk for cancer.
The mice receiving only the
beneficial bacteria formed lymphomas half as quickly as other mice.
These mice also lived four times longer and had less DNA damage and
"Together, these findings lend
credence to the notion that manipulating microbial composition
could be used as an effective strategy to prevent or alleviate
cancer susceptibility," the researchers write.
In the future, it is our hope that
the use of probiotics-containing [supplements] would be a
potential chemo-preventive for normal humans, while the same type
of microbiota would decrease tumor incidence in cancer
Despite efforts in the field of A-T
research, the mechanisms that microbiota follow that cause lymphoma
formation remain difficult to define.
It is known that ATM regulates the
protective cellular response to oxidative stress by sensing
double-stranded DNA breaks, thus inhibiting
cell cycle progression.
As much as intestinal microbiota can
exert a protective effect, its makeup can influence the response of
cancer to therapies.
As much as intestinal microbiota can
exert a protective effect, its makeup can induce
cancer development, for example
Helicobacter pylori, inducing
gastric cancer and lymphoma in WT mice and humans, as well as
potentially influencing the response of
cancer to therapies.
ATM-deficient mice have provided a
suitable subject to investigate the progression of certain cancers.
These subjects have been the focus of previous studies that
demonstrated these mice
developed lymphomas and died between 2 and 5 months of age.
In attempting to explain how the
metabolic changes in mice were as a result of their gut microbiome
composition, the UCLA team looked to the analysis of urine and
fecal sample results.
The data suggested that certain
microbiota caused a metabolic shift towards the up-regulation of
These metabolites could weaken
cancer-promoting signaling pathways, and have been previously shown
protective abilities from certain cancer types, independent of the
subject's genetic make-up.
Surprising Facts about Microbes in Your Gut
in Your Gut May Affect the Size of Your Gut
Need to lose weight? Why not try changing your gut bacteria?
New research published in the
Science suggests that the microbes in your gut may
play a role in obesity.
probiotic supplement of exceptional quality and
effectiveness (like 'Laktokhan
Probiotic Complex 60 V's') that contains at least 10 billion CPU
(colony-forming units) of several human strains of "friendly"
intestinal micro-flora can actively prevent weight gain.
Probiotics May Treat Anxiety and Depression
Scientists have been exploring the connection between gut
bacteria and chemicals in the brain for years. New research adds
more weight to the theory that researchers call "the microbiome-gut-brain axis."
Research published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
shows that mice fed the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus
showed fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Researchers theorize that this is
because L. rhamnosus acts on the central gamma-aminobutyric
acid (GABA) system, which helps regulate emotional behavior.
which is available as a commercial probiotic supplement, has
also been linked to the prevention of diarrhea, atopic
dermatitis, and respiratory tract infections.
More Bacteria the Better
While bacteria on the outside of your body can cause serious
infections, the bacteria inside your body can protect against
Studies have shown that animals without gut bacteria are
more susceptible to serious infections. Bacteria found naturally inside your
gut have a protective barrier effect against other living
organisms that enter your body.
They help the body prevent
harmful bacteria from rapidly growing in your stomach, which
could spell disaster for your bowels.
To do this, they develop a
give-and-take relationship with your body.
"The host actively provides a
nutrient that the bacterium needs, and the bacterium
actively indicates how much it needs to the host," according
to a research (Gut
Flora in Health and Disease) published in
Bacteria Pass from Mother to Child in Breast Milk
It's common knowledge that a mother's milk can help beef up a
baby's immune system. New research indicates that the protective
effects of gut bacteria can be transferred from mother to baby
Work published in
Environmental Microbiology shows that important gut
bacteria travels from mother to child through breast milk to
colonize a child's own gut, helping his or her immune system to
of Gut Diversity Is Linked to Allergies
Too few bacteria in the gut can throw the immune system off
balance and make it go haywire with hay fever.
Researchers in Copenhagen
reviewed the medical records and stool samples of 411 infants.
They found that those who didn't have diverse colonies of gut
bacteria were more likely to develop allergies.
But before you throw your gut
bacteria a proliferation party, know that they aren't always
Bacteria Can Hurt Your Liver
Your liver gets 70 percent of its blood flow from your
intestines, so it's natural they would share more than just
found that between 20 and 75 percent of patients with chronic
fatty liver disease - the kind not associated with alcoholism -
also had an overgrowth of gut bacteria.
Some believe that the transfer of
gut bacteria to the liver could be responsible for chronic liver
Probiotics work in many different
ways by their production of antimicrobial substances (organic
acids, hydrogen peroxide, and bacteriocins) that inhibit
pathogen adhesion and degrade toxins produced by microbial
Probiotics resist colonization by
competing for binding sites as well as for nutrients with
pathogens. In other words, they crowd out pathogens like candida
and harmful E. Coli.
Probiotics secrete various proteins that stimulate the immune
system both locally and throughout the body, boost intestinal
brush border enzyme activity and increase secretory-IgA (a
family of antibodies lining mucous membranes).
Enzymes like lactase, sucrase,
maltase, alpha-glucosidase, and alkaline phosphatase are
enhanced by probiotics. Cholesterol and triglyceride blood
levels are metabolized and lowered by healthy probiotic
Probiotics are able to resist
translocation, defined as the passage of pathogens from the GI
tract to extraintestinal sites such as the mesenteric lymph node
(MLN), spleen, liver, kidneys, and blood.
Cultured dairy products like,
...are the best known food sources of friendly bacteria.
Equally effective probiotic food
sources include cultured/fermented vegetables:
known or used food sources of probiotics are sauerkraut and
Ideally, one could get a good supply
of probiotics from one or more of these diverse foodstuffs. If
dietary sources are not easily available, supplemental probiotic
powders and capsules are good alternatives.
Choose a brand that has at least 3
different strains of friendly bacteria and between 6-15 billion