Latest News » Study: Less range in gut microbes may be tied to cancer

Give your gut the help it needs.

Though we often think of bacteria as a bad thing, certain strains of microbes are actually vital for overall health. It is the probiotics, or "good bacteria," in our gut that facilitate a healthy digestive system and enable us to break down foods and absorb essential nutrients. In addition, scientists have just discovered another benefit of having this diverse microsystem in your belly.

According to NutraIngredients, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine have discovered that "decreased bacterial diversity in the gut is associated with colorectal cancer risk." They came to this conclusion after conducting a large-scale epidemiological study analyzing the connection between these factors. Regardless of age, weight and other lifestyle factors, this correlation reportedly held true.

Lead researcher Dr. Jiyoung Ahn noted that colorectal patients were more likely to have higher levels of harmful bacteria and diminished amounts of good bacteria. This led researchers to speculate that adjusting this ratio may provide a potential avenue for cancer prevention.

The American Cancer Society states that colorectal cancer is the third most common form of this disease in the United States, with 102,480 new cases of colon cancer and 40,340 new cases of rectal cancer diagnosed every year. With this in mind, any research that sheds light on potential causes and correlations could affect and even improve countless lives.

Further research is required to cement this correlation, but given the wide-ranging benefits of a healthy gut, it never hurts to investigate new ways to support your digestive system.

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