Probiotics have been shown to have anti-cancer effects on colon cancer in animals. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) consists of a group of linoleic acid (LA) forms that are anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, antidiabetic and anti-carcinogenic. CLA can be formed from LA by certain bacterial strains and has been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer of the following tissues in animal models: colon, skin, breast and prostate. Dietary CLA comes primarily from beef and dairy products.
Bacteria such as Streptococcus bovis, Bacteroides and Clostridia have been implicated in the origin of colon cancer. Bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium (B.) longum are said to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
The authors used a mixture of the following bacteria: Lacobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. casei, L. plantarum, B. B. breve, B. infantis, B. longum and Streptococcus (S.) thermophilus. When these bacteria were incubated with LA, CLA was produced. The CLA produced was shown to reduce cell survival and increase apoptosis (natural death) of colon cancer cells.
L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus were best of the above probiotics at converting LA to CLA. L. acidophilus was the least able of them all to convert LA to CLA.
CONCLUSION: Feces containing LA produced 100 times as much CLA in the presence of the above bacteria as did feces that did not contain those bacteria. The authors say that probiotics may be used for their anti-inflammatory effects and for the prevention of colon cancer resulting from the increased CLA production. Further studies are needed to determine the role of bacteria in colon carcinogenesis and to determine whether probiotic produced CLA can reduce inflammatory bowel disease.
Increasing your intake of LA (omega-6) is not suggested. An increased intake of omega-6 may be inflammatory or carcinogenic.
Read about conjugated linoleic acid in human metabolism.
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