Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, with around 250,000 cases a year and 34,500 annual deaths, but a recent study has shown that men who eat this everyday food stuff could be at lower risk of developing cancerous cells.
Upon studying the differences in gut bacteria between men with prostate cancer and men with benign complications, scientists discovered a significant difference in their stomach bacteria.
The human gut is naturally teeming with all kinds of microorganisms – some good and some bad. These microscopic beings can have a giant impact on our overall health and how our bodies function – including the likelihood of developing conditions like cancer.
Scientists at the University of Turku in Finland collected samples of gut bacteria from 181 patients who were undergoing MRI scans for suspected cases of prostate cancer. 60 percent of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the study found that these men had significantly different gut microbiota.
The study showed the cancer patients had high levels of Prevotella 9, Erysipelotrichaceae and Escherichia-Shigella (bacteria that produces illness and diarrhea), while their Jonquetella, Moryella, Anaeroglobus, Corynebacterium and CAG-352 were significantly low.
The researchers concluded that gut health could have a direct correlation to the likelihood of men developing prostate cancer and many have now suggested that pro-biotic yoghurts could help men live longer and lower their risk.
“This is a striking finding from a well-conducted trial,” said Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Aarhus University, and member of the EAU22 Scientific Congress Committee of Urology.
“We should be careful with observed associations when it comes to complicated epidemiology, and no cause-and-effect measures can be determined based on this, but certainly the gut microbiota could be an important area to investigate further to enhance our understanding of prostate cancer risk,” he added.
When studying the effect of removing harmful gut bacteria in mice with prostate cancer, tumor growth slowed, and treatment resistance was kept to a minimum. Hayley Luxton, a research and intelligence manager said these findings could significantly improve cancer management for men who have been diagnosed with the condition:
“We’re delighted to have helped fund this boundary-pushing research, which provides the first ever clues as to how ‘gut bugs’ might play a role in stopping prostate cancer becoming resistant to treatments.
We urgently need to understand more about why treatments like androgen deprivation therapy eventually stop working, allowing men’s cancer to grow and progress. This research opens up a totally new avenue for us to explore – one which has potential to make a huge difference to men.”
Professor Johann de Bono, one of the most prominent cancer research scientists said the studies could lead to the development of a specifically crafted cancer-preventing yoghurt:
“In the long-term, our aim would be to produce a yoghurt enriched with favorable bacteria to prevent resistance to treatment, which could help men live longer.”
So, guys, stock up your refrigerator with some healthy probiotic Chobani and get making some breakfast parfaits! It might just lengthen your life.