Can probiotics prevent serious disease? To give you a clue: The human body is covered in trillions of microorganisms, both on the outside and the inside. These organisms colonize the digestive tract, the skin, mouth, yes the entire body. Therefore, you have a unique colony that has developed since birth and is shaped by diet, lifestyle, and other factors.
The symbiotic nature trillions of microorganisms have on your body strongly influences your health condition. So back to our question: Could probiotics be used to prevent serious disease like cancer? A 2016 study revealed some interesting facts about this.Impacts of Gut Bacteria on Diseases | (mdpi.com)
Probiotics prevent serious disease, study indicates
The gut contains strains of the Lactobacillus family, which are also used in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and fermented vegetables. Lactobacillus are often included in probiotic supplements.
In a 2016 UCLA study, Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 reduced gene damage and greatly reduced inflammation in mice. Inflammation plays a major role in the development of cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. But how does probiotics accomplish this?Intestinal Microbiota and Decreased Carcinogenesis (plos.org)
Probiotic bacteria produce certain substances known to prevent cancer. For example lymphoma that originates in the immune system, slowed down considerably when fed probiotic bacteria. The mice also lived longer, had less DNA damage, lower inflammation, and an improved metabolism. The researchers called this “remarkable” because they found that using microorganisms could be used in cancer prevention.
- This is consistent with other studies, for example probiotics and bladder cancer.Dairy intake and the risk of bladder cancer – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Kefir and cancer.Effect of kefir on malignant T lymphocytes – PubMed (nih.gov)Antitumor activity of milk kefir – PubMed (nih.gov)
Summary: Studies indicate that probiotics bacteria is an effective strategy to prevent or alleviate cancer susceptibility. In addition, probiotics help alleviate chemo side-effects and promote gut balance.Cancer-preventing attributes of probiotics – PubMed (nih.gov)Probiotics and Colon Cancer (mdpi.com)Gut Microbiota and Cancer (mdpi.com)Probiotics modify microbiota in patients with colorectal cancer (spandidos-publications.com)Probiotics: Can They Help Cancer Patients? | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
Possibilities of using probiotics for serious disease
By analyzing the microorganisms residing in a person’s gut, a specialist could determine which specific strains should be added to reduce this individual’s risk of developing serious disease. Already now, we know what certain probiotic species can do, but we don’t know nearly enough. However, studies support the recommendation to consume a wide array of probiotic bacteria species instead of just one or two.
Consuming fermented vegetables, natto, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt provides you with a great variety of probiotics. And if you want a supplement, choose one with multiple-strains like Now Foods Probiotic-10 containing 10 probiotic strains.
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- Consume fermented foods containing lactobacillus strains.
- Add prebiotics (fiber) that stimulates growth of gut bacteria.