March 29, 2013
Stopping colon cancer
with a probiotic
I'm a huge fan of probiotics. But they do have their limitations. One of the biggest limitations is that not every product contains every strain of good bacteria. Even some of the best ones contain a limited number of strains. A new study shows why this might be important if you want to prevent colon cancer.

In the study, researchers compared 20 controls to 10 patients with colorectal cancer. They looked at various stool analyses and the effects of probiotic supplementation.

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Those in the healthy group had higher rates of Lactobacillus detection in their stool. In those with cancer, the bad germ Clostridium perfringens was higher. The cancer patients also had stool alkalosis, and lower short chain fatty acids in their stool.

After taking the probiotic supplement Lactobacillus gasseri, those with cancer had higher Lactobacillus in their stool, and lower Clostridium. Further, their stool became more acidic, creation of fecal putrefaction reactions fell, and they had an increase in short chain fatty acids in their fecal material. And, blood tests showed greater natural killer cell activity and higher interleukin-1 beta after the fourth week of supplementation compared to outset.

In a future issue, I'll detail for you how modern science is demonstrating a blur between your DNA and the DNA of the germs in your gut. The latter is called the microbiome. You actually have far more bacterial DNA in your gut than your own cells carry. And, their DNA is highly active. We are far more than simply 23 pairs of human chromosomes. 

In this case, those with rectal cancer had more numbers of a highly toxic germ and less of the beneficial one. Beneficial fermenting germs keep bad guys at bay. They create more short chain fatty acids in your stool, which help to feed your colon cells. They create an acid environment, which keeps bad germs at bay. The same process occurs in a woman's vagina. If it gets alkaline, she is at greater risk of infection. Those increasing acidophilus also saw less toxic putrefaction in their gut. That's a process by which bad germs convert undigested protein into highly toxic amine (ammonia like) compounds.

Now here's the rub. Notice the name of the probiotic used in this study – Lactobacillus gasseri. Not every probiotic on the market contains this particular strain. This study makes it sound like you have to use this strain. But I don't think that the findings of this study are limited to this particular strain of Lactobacillus. More of these friendly germs in your gut will likely induce similar effects as found with L. gasseri. You just need to populate your gut with good bacteria.

Unfortunately, most of us don't have a gut environment that's conducive to healthy bacteria. So to prevent colon cancer, especially if you're at high risk, start by cleaning up your diet to make a good home for the good bacteria. Through many years of clinical observation of thousands of patients, I've come to the conclusion that diet affects your intestinal flora more than a probiotic. I think it's vital you create a favorable environment for your good bacteria. Otherwise, taking probiotics might not help that much. They might not stick around.

At the same time, taking a good probiotic is vital. I recommend Advanced Probiotic Formula. It has one of the highest confirmed levels of probiotic activity of any product on the market.

Ref: Hepatogastroenterology. 2010 Nov-Dec;57(104):1411-5.

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