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Cause of colon cancer might not be what we thought

The cause of colon cancer might not be dietary or just hereditary. New research suggests polyps of the colon that lead to colon cancer could be caused in part by two specific types of  bacteria.
The finding has implications for how colon cancer begins and could mean new ways to prevent the disease that is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. (1) Two types of bacteria play role in inherited and sporadic colon cancerResearchers at Johns Hopkins made the discovery that two types of bacteria play a "critical role" in the development of  hereditary and sporadic cancer of the colon, based on observations that people with colon cancer harbor two types of intestinal bacteria.
The finding is also supported by studies in mice.
See: How rice bran could protect you from cancer
The two types of bacteria noted in people with cancer of the colon that seem to promote the formation of colon tumors are Bacteroides fragilis and Escherichia coli/
The combination of the tw…

Rice bran: How it might help prevent cancer

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Researchers are testing bioactive compounds in rice bran in hopes that it may prevent cancer as well as cancer recurrence.

Scientists say rice bran contains polyphenols that could thwart cancer include ferulic acid, tricin, β-sitosterol, γ-oryzanol, tocotrienols/tocopherols, and phytic acid.

Elizabeth P. Ryan, PhD, Colorado University Cancer Center investigator, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at the CSU Animal Cancer Center, and the review’s senior author explained in a press release,  “There’s a delicate balance of bioactive components in rice bran that together show anti-cancer activity including the ability to inhibit cell proliferation, alter cell cycle progression and initiate the programmed cell death known as apoptosis in malignant cells.”

What that means is that rice bran could stop the spread of cancer and destroy what’s already there – much like chemotherapy goals, but without the toxicity.

The goal of from the researchers is to find out exactly what compounds in rice bran inhibit cancer cell growth.

Ryan explains studies in animal models show rice brand works within cells as well as around them to keep them healthy.

One of the challenges is to isolate the best anti-cancer compounds from over 100,000 varieties of rice bran that exist.

Ryan says because rice bran is inexpensive it offers a dietary approach for fighting colon cancer that is easily accessible worldwide.

The study authors write, “…dietary rice bran as a practical food-derived chemopreventive agent has the potential to have a significant impact on cancer prevention for the global population” because “…bioactive components protect against tissue damage through the scavenging of free radicals and the blocking of chronic inflammatory responses.”

The next step is to test rice bran taken as a prescription in colon cancer survivors in ongoing clinical trials. Rice bran could be good protection from cancer because it keeps cells healthy and blocks inflammation that is linked to a variety of diseases. 

University of Colorado Cancer Center


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