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Antioxidant-rich foods increase the risk of bowel cancer

Antioxidant-rich foods increase the risk of bowel cancer

The health benefits of antioxidants have long been proven. However, a recent study by Israeli doctors shows that too much good is also harmful.

The fact is that the antioxidants in food – polyphenols and flavonoids – increase the risk of developing bowel cancer. The research results are reported in an article published in the journal Nature.

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Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem studied the effects of foods and gut bacteria on genes that cause cancer. Researchers have previously learned that the Tp53 gene, which is found in all cells of the body, is responsible for suppressing tumors in the intestine, and mutations of this gene increase the risk of developing cancer.

This gene makes a protein called p53, which protects cells from harmful mutations that cause cancer. When Tp53 mutates, it produces altered p53 proteins that cannot protect cells from mutations and helps tumors grow.

When p53 is mutated in mice, some changes occur in the gastrointestinal tract. The cancer-causing effect was observed in the distal end of the intestine due to the mutated p53 protein. But in the upper gut, this mutated protein played a protective role.

The scientists also found that this tumor protective effect against the p53 mutation was offset by the altered microflora. The researchers noted that gut microbes that release gallic acid can affect the gut microbiome.

Antioxidant-rich foods increase the risk of bowel cancer

Scientists injected mice that did not have the mutation, gallic acid. This substance interacted with TCF4 chromatin, which contributes to the development of intestinal cancer. The researchers explained that the mice that ate antioxidant-rich foods changed their gut flora, produced more gallic acid, and increased their risk of colon cancer.

According to the study authors, food and microbes play a role in the development of cancer. Doctors also emphasize that the small intestine is more immune to cancer than the large intestine. According to scientists, only 2% of cancer cells affect the small intestine, and 98% – the large intestine.

Yandex Zen

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