Good news: If you're a fan of probiotics, another health benefit has been added to the ranks, this time concerning lowered colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. A known immune booster, probiotics also hinder harmful pathogens in the gut that can lead to cellular mutations. Not only that, certain species of beneficial bacteria form conjugated linoleic acid in the colon, which may inhibit the development of cancer through anti-inflammatory action.
Keeping the colon healthy and disease-free
According to Cancer Active, Professor Ian Rowland at the University of Ulster, a leading expert on diet and cancer prevention, notes:
"Studies using cultures of human colon cells grown in flasks show that probiotics can interfere with the action of cancer forming substances. When probiotics have been given to laboratory rats, they have decreased the level of gene damage (an important event in cancer) and reduced the numbers of tumours induced in the colon. There are only a few studies in humans because of the difficulties in studying the effects of diet on human cancer. However, in the few studies that have been done, probiotics - sometimes in combination with prebiotics - have shown effects suggesting that they may reduce the risk of colon cancer."