Even though colorectal cancer is very treatable when detected in its early stages, most cases are discovered when the disease has progressed. Within five years of receiving treatment for colorectal cancer, recurrence rates range from 7% to 29%. A good diet and other lifestyle modifications can help prevent colorectal cancer. Recent studies have shown that including navy beans, sometimes referred to as haricot beans, in the diets of colorectal cancer survivors improved their gut microbiomes, which may help prevent and treat the disease. The third most common type of cancer worldwide is colorectal cancer, which affects the large intestine, including the colon and the rectum. When detected early enough, colorectal cancer is very treatable and in certain cases even curable. On the other hand, colorectal cancer does not always exhibit symptoms right away. Merely 35 percent or approximately three to four out of ten colorectal cancer cases are detected during the early stages of the disease, when it is still localized. Even with advancements in treatment, between 7 and 29 percent of patients with colorectal cancer may experience a recurrence within five years of finishing treatment, depending on the location and stage of the disease, according to recent research.
While there is no guarantee against colorectal cancer, research from the past indicates that maintaining a healthy weight, exercising frequently, and following certain dietary recommendations can all be beneficial. Presently, M.D researchers from The University of Texas. Researchers at the Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that including navy beans, sometimes referred to as haricot beans, in the diets of people who have survived colorectal cancer can enhance their gut microbiome, which may help prevent and treat cancer. The nutritional profiles of other dry beans, peas, and lentils may also stimulate the gut microbiome, according to Dr. Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, an associate professor of epidemiology at The University of Texas MdotD. The lead author of this study, from Anderson Cancer Center, told Medical News Today that she was especially motivated by encouraging results from early preclinical or mouse model studies that looked specifically at how navy beans affected the trifecta of obesity, inflammation, and colorectal cancer. Dr. Daniel-MacDougall stated that the Polyp Prevention Trial (PPT) served as an inspiration for these investigations, including her own. She continued, This large study demonstrated that the individuals who consumed the most beans on a daily basis or nearly did so had a lower risk of recurrence of advanced colorectal adenoma, a type of precancerous and high-risk polyp that is very likely to progress to colorectal cancer if not caught promptly upon colonoscopy and completely removed.
Pinto, navy, and black beans were the most popular beans consumed by Americans at the time of the PPT, though their popularity varied. S. area. I knew navy beans here in Texas would also be “new” to participants and have a mild/adaptable taste, so I knew they would be ideal for testing in a consistent and controlled way over the course of eight weeks, she continued. A balanced gut microbiome is crucial for colorectal cancer survivors, according to Dr. Daniel-MacDougall, as it interacts directly with the colon epithelium, which is the site of colorectal cancer development. She went on to say that the immune system is closely related to this “cross-talk” between human cells and bacteria, which can either drive or prevent inflammation as well as the onset and spread of cancer. Dr. Daniel-MacDougall continued, “Survivors of cancer want to avoid other major and debilitating health issues after overcoming the arduous journey of the disease.”. The significance of the gut microbiome in colorectal cancer has also been demonstrated by earlier studies. According to a July 2023 study, microbial therapies for colorectal cancer may target the gut microbiome. According to a June 2020 study, dietary modifications tailored to an individual’s gut microbiota may help stop colorectal cancer (CRC) from starting and spreading while also enhancing the effectiveness of antitumoral therapy.
In order to conduct this study, Dr. Daniel-MacDougall and her colleagues randomly assigned 55 male and female participants over the age of thirty who had previously experienced bowel lesions, colorectal cancer, or were at high risk of developing precancerous polyps. Of these, 48 (87 percent) of the participants finished the study. Participants were asked to consume a cup of organic, canned, pressure-cooked white navy beans every day for eight weeks, or they could continue with their regular diet. Researchers found that individuals who regularly ate navy beans had improvements in their gut microbiome. These alterations included a decrease in pathogenic, or opportunistic, bacteria and an increase in alpha diversity, or beneficial bacteria like Eubacterium, Bifidobacterium, and Faecalibacterium. While some doctors might feel at ease discussing healthy living, exercise, and eating more fruits and vegetables and less red and processed meat with their patients, Dr. Daniel-MacDougall noted that beans are frequently less likely to come up in conversation and may be more difficult to sell in a population with a history of bowel lesions or bowel issues. She continued, “I hope that this trial’s results and other supporting evidence will make beans a regular topic of conversation and that more medical professionals and patients will recognize the importance of whole foods to achieve a broader impact on health.”. MNT also had a conversation with Dr. Anton Bilchik, director of the Gastrointestinal and Hepatob Institute, chief of medicine, and surgical oncologist.
With between 2 and 3 trillion bacteria in the human body and strong evidence linking these bacteria to a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Bilchik stated that he thought this study was highly significant and pertinent. In addition, we may harbor both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Thus, he emphasized, it would be crucial if we could use nutrition to boost the good bacteria that influence the immune system and prevent cancer or cancer recurrence. Additionally, given the wealth of new knowledge about bacteria and how diet can affect them, Dr. Bilchik stated that doctors must discuss gut health with their patients who have colorectal cancer. For instance, it is commonly known that individuals who consume processed foods, red meat, and charred meat have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. And because other foods, like processed food, may be stimulating the bad bacteria to increase the risk of colorectal cancer and cancer currently, it is critical to know that there are healthier foods that can stimulate bacteria to prevent cancer or to prevent cancer recurrence. Therefore, Dr. Bilchik continued, diet and nutrition should play a critical role in the conversation regarding the prevention of colorectal cancer as well as the treatment of patients who already have the disease to reduce the likelihood that it will return.
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