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High Fat Diets, Gut Bacteria and Bowel Cancer Are Related, Study Finds

Update Date: Sep 02, 2014 08:37 AM EDT

High fat diets could be a cause of bowel cancer due to a link with the gut bacteria, according to a new study. 

Up until now, it was known that there existed a link between high fat diets and various cancers of the bowels, but a plausible explanation did not exist. The new research has found evidence that exonerates obesity and instead implicates gut bacteria. 

For a better understanding of the onset of bowel cancer, researchers obtained mice with a genetic predisposition to the disease. They kept some mice on high fat diets and some on normal fat diets. 

Researchers also took fecal samples to note the makeup of the microbial community in the gut. They observed a shift in composition of the gut microbe composition over time in the mice on the high fat diet. They further concluded that there was a reduced immunity defense against bowel cancers with an associated increase in the rates of cancers observed. 

Researchers also noted that transferring samples of gut biota from predisposed mice that had bowel tumors to tumor-free mice - they too exhibited a higher rate of developing tumors than those that did not receive the transfer, the press release added. 

According to researchers, these experiments indicate a very strong link between a high fat diet, gut biota and bowel cancer. 

The study has been described in the journal Nature

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