SYNCAN, gut damage and colorectal cancer

2014 Research

Colorectal cancer - probiotics and prebiotics

The SYNCAN study first started in 2005. The aim was to look at how foods ’worked’ in the human body, but the study evolved to look at foods that were probiotics (they specifically feed commensal, or good, gut bacteria) and the probiotic bacteria effects. SYNCAN researchers were amongst the first to come up with a very important conclusion. 

Bowel cancer gut microbiome - less bacteria, less diversity, more pathogens

Researchers have found that people diagnosed with colon cancer or bowel cancer, have less variety of different bacteria in their gut than healthy people. And those they do have, feature more harmful strains(1). (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, December 2013).

"For the first time, we found that colorectal cancer patients have a different gut bacteria composition than healthy subjects," said study author Jiyoung Ahn, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the NYU School of Medicine in New York.

Researchers found an increased presence of inflammation-causing Fusobacterium, which is also known to fuel the growth of some cancers. Patients also had lowered levels of a particular strain of Clostridium, a strain known to aid glucose metabolism.

Researchers also noted that diet, exercise and obesity would also alter the composition of the microbiome. You can read more in Chris Woollams’ best-seller book, ’Heal your Gut, Heal your Body’.

USA and Canada

Go here to : Buy the book in the USA and Canada

UK and Europe 

Go here to : Buy the book in the UK and Europe


Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong

Go here to : Buy the book in Australia


"Antibiotics, drugs, poor diet, stress, smoking, alcohol, too much sugar and other factors can each and all alter the composition of the gut microbiome" said Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist. "We know that the volume of bacteria falls, and the diversity. Less good guys are present. This allows any pathogens present to grow since good bacteria are known to keep bad bacteria in check. What is interesting in these early conclusions is that Fusobacterium is known to affect two cancer inflammation systems. And poor sugar control is linked not only to colorectal cancer, but to survival times. There was research from Johns Hopkins in 2009 on how sugar control increased survival times in bowel cancer."

Go to: Fecal Transplants or FMT


Journal of the National Cancer Institute, December 2013

2014 Research
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