Who’s At Risk For Colon Cancer?


Colon cancer comes in third on the list of overall cancer diagnoses every year. Over 100,000 people will be diagnosed, resulting in about 56,000 mortalities. Colon cancer accounts for about 10 percent of all cancer deaths.

However, new research is showing some promise. A new study from the University of North Carolina suggests a unique relationship between the levels of “good” and “bad” bacteria in your digestive system, and risk of developing colon cancer.

In the study, published in the May/June 2010 journal Gut Microbes, it looks at this shift as a means not only to identify people at high risk for colon cancer, but also as a possible way to prevent it. The researchers believe that for some reason there is a change in the balance of bacteria. The “good” bacteria makes way for “bad” microbes, which make toxic metabolites. Metabolites are a substance necessary for a metabolic function. When a metabolite is toxic, it is detrimental to your health by interfering with or destroying certain metabolic functions.

So how do you insure a good balance? The answer is to maintain a healthy, functioning, colony of pro-biotics. The best way to keep your “good” bacteria is to keep them at a healthy level and provide them with the food they need to sustain themselves. To do this well, combine both pre- and pro-biotics in your diet.

Many functional foods and supplements offer an abundance of pro-biotics, but most do not provide them in a form that is easily digested. For a pro-bitoic to help, it must get into your system in a sustainable form. With many pro-biotics on the market today your body eats up a large portion of the bacteria before it can get where it needs to be. Once in your system the colonies of bacteria need to be sustained and allowed to grow. Pro-biotics feed off pre-biotics and it is this unique combination that allows for the balance you need. As old bacteria die, new ones are formed.