Colorectal Cancer linked to taking antibiotics

Colorectal Cancer linked to taking antibiotics

Three studies all show that taking antibiotics damages your microbiome and this is linked to a much higher risk of colorectal cancer; these studies have all been confirmed by others and further studies suggest antibiotic use may increase the risk of other cancers too.

Research on antibiotics and CRC

A 2017 report by Colby Zaph, Head of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University, Australia, shows that antibiotics given to the young, cause gut imbalance and inflammation later in life, with IBD, colitis, Crohn's or worse all too common.

This has been confirmed by other studies.

Go to: The dreadful truth about antibiotics - your gut microbiome never recovers

Dr. Ben Boursi of the Integrated Cancer Prevention Centre in Tel Aviv showed statistically in 2016 that the more antibiotics you take, the greater your risk of colorectal cancer. Again, this conclusion has been confirmed by Johns Hopkins and research has linked the type of antibiotic to CRC cancer location risk. 

Go to: Type of antibiotic important in colorectal cancer risk

And thirdly, a re-analysis of the Boston Nurses Study in 2017, led by Dr. Andrew Chan of Harvard Medical School, showed that taking antibiotics for more than 15 days in one treatment raised the risk of pre-cancerous polyps by 36 per cent in 20-39 year-old women, and overall colorectal cancer risk by 69 per cent in women aged 40-59, and by 73 per cent in all women.

Disturbance and damage by antibiotics to the microbiome causes two things - a loss of diversity plus a reduction in sheer numbers of commensal (good) bacteria. As a result, the immune system declines, certain compounds made by commensal bacteria are at lowered levels (e.g. B vitamins, melatonin, serotonin) and there is less control over pathogens (such as E. coli and Fusobacterium, known drivers of CRC).  In the case of colorectal cancer, bacteria that make sodium butyrate may be damaged. Sodium butyrate is unfortunately known to kill colorectal cancer cells. The loss of bacteria making it make be the biggest factor.  

But Doctors might try to shift some of the blame by pointing to the fact that 90 per cent of antibiotics are destined for animals and end up in the food chain. Or that chemicals like Triclosan, commonly available in hand soaps and even some toothpastes and mouthwashes, kill gut bacteria too.

Factors that change the gut acidity, such as too much sugar, salt, pickles, alcohol, smoking and stress, also cause lowered levels of good bacteria; as do poor dietary habits, especially consuming too little soluble fibre (e.g. nuts and seeds, oatmeal, pulses, vegetables - the favourite food of commensal bacteria) or too much sugar, high fructose corn syrup or lactose. Even a lack of exercise has been shown in research from University College, Cork to be linked to lowered levels of commensal bacteria.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and Founder of CANCERactive added, "We see a lot of people with Colorectal cancer who had an extended spell, or frequent use, of antibiotics. Just as worrying though, is the number of times we see young women with breast cancer who spent two years on an acne treatment in their late teens and this included an antibiotic. Or people being given lengthy periods on antibiotics by their Doctor for a viral complaint, for which the antibiotic simply cannot work anyway. Indeed, a recent UK report showed that just over half of all antibiotics were prescribed for conditions they simply don’t work for.

Go to: Antibiotic use linked to increased risk of several cancers

Maryland Medical School in the Human Microbiome Project have shown that when you damage the commensal bacteria, you allow your pathogens and parasites to come out to play. Such bad guys may have been present for 20 years or more, but a healthy gut microbiome kept them in check. Do you remember that stomach upset you got on your holiday years ago in Greece? It may be still living with you, held in check until a simple dose of antibiotics for an ear infection sets it free. People regularly screw up their gut bacteria, even with their Doctors help. So, if you have been ill, make every attempt immediately after taking drugs and/or antibiotics to Heal Your Gut!"

Go to: How to Heal Your Gut - Heal your body

2017 Research
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