Our gut bacteria can have a significant impact on our well-being, so researchers want to know more about how to ensure that those bacteria are promoting good health. Scientists at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have made new connections between a diet that encourages the growth of a specific gut microbe, and the risk of colon cancer. Their work is outlined in this video.
The researchers focused on three inflammatory markers, interleukin 6 (IL6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and tumor necrosis factor–receptor superfamily member 1B (TNFRSF1B), assessing how diet affected inflammation by measuring their levels.
Certain colon cancers are associated with the growth of a bacterium called Fusobacterium nucleatum in their microenvironment. The scientists found that the risk of colon cancer with F. nucleatum growth was found to increase when a diet high in refined grains and sugars and red or processed meats was consumed.