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. Each person has a unique colony that has developed since birth and is shaped by diet, lifestyle, and other factors.
The symbiotic nature of trillions of microorganisms strongly influences the health condition of each individual. Could probiotics be used to prevent serious disease like cancer? A 2016 study revealed some interesting facts.
Probiotics for serious disease
The gut contains strains of the Lactobacillus family, which are also used to produce fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and fermented vegetables. Lactobacillus species are also 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 do this?
The probiotic bacteria produce certain metabolites 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.”
The researchers stated: “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.”
What conclusion can we draw from this?
Use probiotics to prevent disease
It might be possible to use probiotics effectively to prevent serious disease. How?
By analyzing the microorganisms residing in a person’s gut and recommend which specific strains to add, thereby reducing this individual’s risk of developing serious disease. However, already now there are simple ways to use probiotics in this manner.
How to use probiotics
- Get a probiotic supplement with a wide range of bacteria.
- Consume fermented foods containing lactobacillus strains.
- Add prebiotics (fiber) that stimulates growth of gut bacteria.
Don’t underestimate probiotics to prevent serious disease.
Amrita K. Cheema, Irene Maier, Tyrone Dowdy, Yiwen Wang, Rajbir Singh, Paul M. Ruegger, James Borneman, Albert J. Fornace Jr, Robert H. Schiestl. Chemopreventive Metabolites Are Correlated with a Change in Intestinal Microbiota Measured in A-T Mice and Decreased Carcinogenesis. PLOS ONE, 2016 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151190
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