Archive for colon / colorectal cancer
Protective role of probiotics and prebiotics in colon cancer
Fiber has been shown to be protective against colon cancer, but a recent study shed some doubt on this belief. However, it is commonly believed that this protective effect comes from the action of probiotics on soluble fiber, producing butyrate. I would love to see the bacterial environment of the GI tracts of the patients used in the study that showed no benefit from fiber, and re-evaluate the data.
AJCN — Abstracts: Wollowski et al. 73 (2): 451S
Olive Oil Has Protective Effect on Colorectal Cancer
The Mediterranean diet, in which olive oil is the principle contributor to dietary fat (about 30%) has been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. This further supports this dietary pattern as being one of the healthiest on the planet. What is interesting in this study was that fish increased the risk of colon cancer. It would be interesting to compare types of fish to risks, as many types of fish have become contaminated with heavy metals.
J Epidemiol Community Health 2000;54:756-760 Olive oil, perhaps through its influence on secondary bile acid patterns in the colon, appears to protect against the development of colorectal cancer, according to research from Oxford University, in the UK. Meat and fish consumption, on the other hand, are positively associated with bowel cancer. “The model of meat, fish and olive oil accounted for 76% of the variation in colorectal cancer incidence between countries,” the investigators write. Vegetable consumption lost significance in the model once olive oil was included. The authors suggest that meat increases deoxycholic acid in the colon and rectum, inhibiting diamine oxidase, which is thought to have a role in colonic mucosal proliferation. Olive oil may reduce deoxycholic acid, increasing the availability of diamine oxidase and protecting against “mucosal turnover, polyp formation, and the adenoma/carcinoma sequence.”
Fiber Down-Regulates Colonic TNF alpha and Nitric Oxide Production
While this is a rat study, it does show the potential for fiber to have an anti-inflammatory effect via the production of short chain fatty acids (which require presence of beneficial bacteria for the conversion). TNF alpha was one of the regulators that was studied. Remember that the hot new drug for Crohn’s and RA is a TNF-alpha blockade. It is very feasible that soluble fiber could show a similar benefit to this drug without the side effects and possibly additional benefits such as lowering colon cancer risk.
Nutrition.org — Abstracts: Rodríguez-Cabezas et al. 132 (11): 3263
Stimulation of Cdx2 homeobox gene by butyrate in colon cancer
While the title may be a little technical, this is additional support on the benefits of a combination of soluble fiber and probiotics on intestinal health and cancer prevention. Remember that friendly bacteria in the gut digest the soluble fiber to produce short chain fatty acids, one of which is butyrate. Personally, I think the media did a tremendous disservice by sensationalizing the results of one trial that did not show a benefit of fiber in colon cancer. Of course, the media did not mention that the study did not examine intestinal flora nor did they differentiate insoluble fiber from soluble.
Gut — Abstracts: Domon-Dell et al. 50 (4): 525
Polymorphism in the Human GH1 Gene and Colorectal Cancer
One of the theories in mainstream medicine is that, if an young rat has higher levels of something than an old rat, then that must be why the old rat is old. We use this convoluted thinking to support hormone replacement therapy and certain “anti-aging” wonder supplements such as human growth hormone.
This study shows that a group of people with a genetic defect that results in lowered levels of growth hormone have a reduced risk of colon cancer. This does lend support to the “more is better” not being better….
Cancer Spectrum: Le Marchand et al, pp. 454-460.
You subscribe to the dogma that you need 8-10 glasses to get water health benefits. You know white tea benefits also are strong. But how do the two compare?
I was speaking to a group of employees at one of the local casinos today on the topic of diabetes and prediabetes. Of course, no topic related to diabetes would be complete without discussing the evils of Bisphenol A (BPA) from plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone had a plastic water bottle from the lunch offerings. I hate to be such a killjoy.
I always strongly advocate tea drinking anywhere that I can while at the same time steering people aware from drinking out of plastic water bottles. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, there is a shocking lack of evidence for the “8-10 glasses of water per day” mantra that we seem to hear from every group giving health recommendations. Based on these recommendations, one would think that we are all merely 16.3 fluid oz of water away from drying up into a husk and blowing away.
Inevitably, someone in the crowd today asked about whether tea counts towards our water intake per day. I mean–hasn’t everyone heard that caffeine dehydrates us and we need to drink MORE water to make up for the tea drinking?
Let’s look at this a little more closely and compare the tea vs water debate.
On one side, we have the 8-10 glasses of water per day camp. The research to back up this claim? Pretty much nil. We do however, have loads of studies linking BPA exposure to obesity, diabetes and breast cancer. There is, of course, the whole environmental / landfill argument from all that plastic garbage. Then we have reports from the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) that demonstrate that much of the popular bottled water brands are little more than tap water that is far to high in pollutants to be consumed by pregnant women in the state of California. Another recent study found a slight increase in diabetes risk with drinking more than 6 glasses of water per day.
Not looking too good for water so far.
On to tea.
- Reduces diabetes risk
- Protects our brain
- Protects our heart from damage
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers ovarian cancer risk
- Lowers breast cancer risk
The list could actually be quite longer, but I’m sure you’re getting the point.
The answer would be–why on Earth would you want to add water to compensate for the tea you’re drinking? In these studies above, the participants were not drinking tea AND water–they were drinking tea.
And, just in case all of the above is not convincing enough, this particular study looked at how much drinking tea protected against digestive system cancers (gastric, colon). On average, drinking tea lowered overall risk by 14%. The more tea someone drank and the longer they had been drinking tea, the greater the protection. This climbed to a 26% lower risk in those who drank 2-3 cups per day.
Most of the intake was in the form of green tea, but overall, I usually tell patients that whatever black tea does, green tea does better, and what green tea does, white tea does better. Personally, we go through so much tea at our house that we drink all kinds, looking more for taste than type of tea.
To get a better idea how my household makes tea, refer to an older blog post here that describes how we make it.
Do you have a favorite brand or type of tea?
OXIDIZED LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN LEVELS AND RISK OF COLORECTAL CANCER
I have always stood by the concept that LDL cholesterol does not do damage to us until it gets damaged. However, what if the oxidized LDL (ox-LDL or oxysterols) are merely a marker for the amount of inflammation, and that the increased oxidative stress from the increased inflammation is actually the real culprit? Here we see an increased risk of colon cancer with an increasing level of ox-LDL, with greater than a three fold increase with the higher levels. Serum Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Levels and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Case-Control Study Nested in the Japan Collabo..
Major Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Women
This falls into the “how much did we pay for this??” study. What chronic disease does a Westernized lifestyle NOT increase your risk for??
Major Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Women
BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE PHASE ANGLE IN CLINICAL PRACTICE: IMPLICATIONS FOR PROGNOSIS IN ADVANCED COLORECTAL CANCER.
Given that I use BIA analysis quite frequently in my practice, this one hits home. It’s just kind of funny how some patients and physicians react to the BIA and the phase angle that is calculated by the BIA. Most probably think it’s more hype and voodoo than reality. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and phase angle tracks closely with mortality in many disease states.
This study shows a cutoff at 5.57 (higher is better). Those higher than this had an average mortality of 40.4 months. Under? 8.6 months. Almost five times longer. Pretty good predictive value for voodoo…
Consumption of Chemopreventive Agent Curcumin by Cancer Patients
The idea that curcumin (a spice found in curry and mustard) was protective is not a big surprise. What I found definately surprising was that, while the curcumin given to the colorectal cancer patients was found in the tumor and found to lower the amount of damage being done to the DNA, it was not seen in the bloodstream.
So, the question here is, was all the curcumin out of the bloodstream before one hour had elapsed, or did the curcumin not even get absorped effectively? I don’t have the answer, but given how frequently curcimin is put into “anti inflammatory” formulas for conditions such as joint pain it makes me wonder if the curcumin is even making it to the target tissues.