New Study Reveals How Woman’s Gut Health is Connected to Breast Cancer Development
Healthful lifestyle and dietary changes are widely known ways to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer; but did you know that gut health may also play a role in the fight against breast cancer?
In recent decades, the role of the human gut microbiota and its relation to breast cancer has become a major area of focus in the scientific and medical community. A new breakthrough study provides evidence that the gut microbiome plays a substantial role in estrogen regulation. This is an important revelation because it reveals that a certain type of gut bacteria, called estrobolome, has a genetic capability to help metabolize estrogen. Estrogen plays a significant role in most breast cancers. Gut microbiota diversity appears to be an essential component of overall health, including breast health.
Continue reading to discover how the gut microbiome plays an important role in your overall, including when it comes to the development of breast cancer.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
Did you know that there are more bacteria cells in your body than human cells?
Trillions upon trillions of microorganisms and their genetic material make up the microbiome in your gut. Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, yeast, and viruses comprise up to 90% of the microbiome. Things like stress, exercise, some medications, sleep, and diet can all alter the microbiome. The majority of the microbes in your intestines are found in your large intestine, the cecum, and they are referred to as the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome controls how your immune system responds to disease and infection. This system has been shown to play a critical role in the development and prognosis of many diseases, including breast cancer.
When your gut microbiome is thrown off balance, called dysbiosis, it increases your risk for developing health conditions, including breast cancer. Dysbiosis can also lead to inflammation in the body, the precursor for many diseases.
What the Study Reveals
The collection of bacteria, estrobolome, may reveal a link to cancer. Estrobolome can metabolize estrogen so it is dispelled from your body. This is critical as estrogen levels fuel approximately 70% of breast cancers. Higher estrogen levels may stimulate breast tissue to divide, which is the beginning of cancer.
Another study of mice discovered that altering the microbiome resulted in breast tissue inflammation, which can lead to more aggressive forms of breast cancer. In addition, other research studies on this subject have revealed that gut bacteria may affect the success of certain cancer treatments.
Earlier studies reported how interfering with the microbiome of mice caused hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to become more aggressive and spread more rapidly. Replacing the low-fat diet gut microbiome with the microbiome of a high-fat diet was enough to increase breast cancer risk.
How to Improve the Gut Microbiome
There are many ways, including lifestyle factors, that can improve your gut microbiome and also lead to other positive outcomes for your health.
- Eating different types of rich foods, including those high in fiber and whole grains and vegetables, can improve the health of the microbiome.
- Consuming fermented foods, such as kimchi, yogurt and kombucha, can produce more “good” bacteria in your body.
- Eating a plant-based diet can help to reduce inflammation and promote the growth of different types of intestinal bacteria.
- Foods and drinks that contain a plant compound called polyphenols, such as green tea, red wine and almonds, are digested by gut bacteria and cause healthy bacteria to flourish.
- Consistently taking probiotics and prebiotics can improve the functioning of certain gut bacteria.
Early detection is everything in the fight against cancer. We encourage women to stay informed and take charge of their healthcare by adding a powerful Breast Ultrasound to their breast healthcare regimen. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, please click here.