Carbs and gut microbes fuel colon cancer

Sugar-loving bacteria support the emergence of tumors in mice

11:36am, July 22, 2014

COLON CARBS  In mouse colons, sugar-loving gut microbes encourage mutations in DNA (blue), which elevate cancer-related proteins (green), possibly explaining why Western nations experience more colon cancer.

Westerners’ carb-rich diets have long been linked to high levels of cancer, and scientists have begun to work out why. In an experiment with mice, gut bacteria bridged the gap, explaining why sugar-heavy diets can cause cancer, researchers report in the July 17 Cell.

Colorectal cancer ranks third on the list of deadliest cancers, and the disease hits developed countries harder than developing ones. Nearly one of every 15 people in Western nations will suffer from the condition, and doctors suspect that carbohydrate-laden diets contribute to the problem.

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