A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida revealed that the microscopic organisms living in your gut may provide an early warning system for colon cancer—one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
After testing more than 90 individuals, scientists found that certain types of bacteria were common in patients who developed polyps in the colon, which can develop into cancer. Doctors hope that such “bacterial signatures” could be used to pinpoint patients who may be at higher risk for developing colon cancer, and that non-invasive screening techniques can be developed that would look at the types and number of intestinal bacteria in the gut.
Did You Know…?
Your digestive tract is home to literally trillions of individual bacteria (more than 1,000 different species), including Bifidobacteria—the most prevalent good bacteria (or probiotics) in the large intestine—and Lactobacilli, which are the most prevalent good bacteria in the small intestine.
Altogether, the beneficial microorganisms make up nearly 70 percent of your body’s immune system, so maintaining a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines is crucial to your overall health. Because everyday factors such as stress, illness, antibiotic use or even a change in routine can upset a balanced digestive environment, natural health experts recommend taking a daily high-potency probiotic for optimal digestive and immune health.