Mediterranean diet promotes anticancer bacteria in the breast

Diet can influence microbe colonies not only in the gut, but also in other body parts, such as the female breast in mammals. The influence is strong enough to create conditions that are pro- or anticancer.

mediterranean diet selection
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, as well as olive oil.

So concluded researchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, after having compared the effects of Western and Mediterranean diets on the microbes and biologically active compounds in the mammary glands of monkeys.

In a paper on the work, which will soon appear in the journal Cell Reports, they suggest that their findings could open a new avenue for breast cancer prevention and treatment.

In the United States, breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women. In 2015, there were 125 new cases of breast cancer per 100,000 women.

For the next most common cancer, that of the lung and bronchus, there were 58 new cases per 100,000.

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The breast microbiome

Recent studies have found that the human mammary gland, similarly to the gut, has its own specific microbiome, or unique population of microbes.

Further investigation also found that breast cancer tumors contain lower levels of Lactobacillus bacteria species compared with non-cancerous growths, suggesting that they could be “a negative regulator of breast cancer.”

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