New study finds the right combination of dietary fibre and probiotics can help to limit cancer progression
A team of scientists from the University of Luxembourg found that the right combination of prebiotic, dietary fibre and probiotics leads to metabolic changes that effect the growth of cancer cells, particularly in colorectal cancer. Prebiotics are a form of dietary fibre that nourish and feed the good bacteria in our gut, they increase the absorption of nutrients including vitamins and minerals helping immune system function. Probiotics are specific beneficial bacteria that keep the gut healthy.
Using a unique in vitro model of the gut which allows cultivation of human intestinal cells together with bacteria, scientists investigated the effects of different dietary regimes and probiotics on colorectal cancer cells. Interestingly, it was only the combination of prebiotic fibre and probiotics that lead to observed beneficial effects. The scientists report that the effects of the combined treatment resulted in the down regulation of genes associated with colorectal cancer and drug resistance as well as the attenuation of self renewal of the cancer cells.
The lead study author Dr. Kacy Greenhalgh said, “Currently cancer patients are not provided with evidence based personalised dietary interventions during chemotherapy treatment. Our results provide support for exploiting the food-microbiome interactions as a supportive therapeutic approach in anti cancer therapy. I hope that our results will reach patients and medical practitioners in their respective fields and that in the future more effort is put in, including personalised dietary recommendations into cancer treatment plans.”