Gut bacteria link with foods can reduce cancer risk

Gut bacteria link with foods can reduce cancer risk

The foods you consume determine the composition of your gut microbiome, which in turn determines the messages sent out in your body; messages that can control or cause inflammation and even change the messages sent from your own DNA.

At CANCERactive we told you more that a decade ago that the phrase, “You are what you eat” should be replaced by the phrase, “You are what your gut bacteria eat”. Certain diets produce more gut bacteria which make inflammatory molecules causing inflammation throughout the body; while other diets produce larger colonies of bacteria that make anti-inflammatory molecules.

A meta-analysis(1) showed that a ‘prudent’ Western diet high in natural fibre from whole grains, fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. This begs the question, "How?"

The SYNCAN study showed increased levels of Fusobacterium nucleatum in the majority of people with colorectal cancer – not every colorectal cancer, as different subtypes have emerged.

In a 2015 analysis(2) of the Nurses’ Health Study (June 1, 1980, to June 1, 2012) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (June 1, 1986, to June 1, 2012) by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Harvard TH Chan, across 1019 cases of colorectal cancer, those who ate a ‘prudent’ western diet encompassing more whole grains and natural dietary fibre had lower Fusobacterium nucleatum levels and a lower risk of F. nucleatum–positive colorectal cancer.

So diet is driving gut bacterial make up.

Go to: The Rainbow Diet


Now, in a new study(3) on mice by Dr. Patrick Varga-Weisz, from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England, mice treated with antibiotics (thus bacteria-free) produced high levels of a protein HDAC2 which is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer. 


High levels of HDAC2 are known to increase crotonylations - protein modifications that can switch genes off and on via histone modifications.

However, when they gave high fibre fruit and vegetables to normal mice, an analysis of gut epithelial tissue and faeces showed high levels of short-chain fatty acids were produced by the good bacteria and these reduced levels of HDAC2, which in turn reduced crotonylations.

In other words, short-chain fatty acids originating from the consumption of fruits and vegetables by healthy bacteria were found capable of turning genes in the gut lining on and off.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and author of ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’ said, “So, eating fruit and vegetables causes increases in gut bacteria and then higher levels of beneficial short-chain fatty acids, which reduce compounds harnful to your personal DNA. Foods drive gut bacteria levels and these are the controlling factor. Feed them well and the right ones will help you.

 Go to: Best-seller: ’Heal Your Gut Heal Your Body’

Fruit and vegetables affect your personal genetic activity. It is becoming very clear in colorectal cancer and increasingly likely for all cancers. As we keep saying, cancer begins in your gut. Ignore a prudent high fibre (grains, fruit and vegetables) diet at your peril.”

                                                                                               * * * * * * * 



1.      1. Magalhães  B, Peleteiro  B, Lunet  N. Dietary patterns and colorectal cancer: systematic review andmeta-analysis.  Eur J Cancer Prev. 2012;21(1):15-23.

2.     2.

3.     3.




2018 Research
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.