Latest Research

Gut Bacteria Determines Cancer Treatment Effectiveness

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Gut bacteria play a leading role in how well cancer drugs work. Certain gut bacteria (Bifidobacterium specifically) boost people’s response to cancer treatment while others can make immunotherapy ineffective. In addition, previous studies show that those with antibiotic exposure are more likely to have a poor response rate to immunotherapy. Researchers are now testing how to manipulate gut bacteria in immunotherapy “non-responders”- using methods such as fecal microbiota transplantation, robust oral probiotics, and other medications based on the interplay between gut bacteria and the immune system. While manipulating the intestinal microbiome to treat cancer is an exciting proposition, some scientists are wary. Altering the gut microbiome can lead to harmful side effects, including other health problems. Some scientists also feel that it’s too early – we just don’t know enough about the microbiome: “A lot of findings [in microbiome research] have proven to either not stand up or be considerably more complicated than they first appeared.” Nature

→Takeaway: The gut microbiome is an important player in both preventing cancer and improving the success rate of cancer treatment. The more balanced your gut microbiome, the better your chances!

Leslie Ann received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and has a Master’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University. With over a decade of experience working in the health and wellness field as a nutritionist, health writer, and project manager, Leslie Ann is the backbone of the Gutbliss team, overseeing operations as well as the strategic mission of Gutbliss Rx, and authoring much of the content on the site. As a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer, she is an avid believer in integrative methods to treat and heal the body.

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