Antibiotics increase risk of colon cancer, new study finds

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There are multiple risk factors for developing colon cancer. So what causes it? More than half of colorectal cancer cases are linked to lifestyle factors, such as age, smoking, diet and alcohol consumption.

Now a recent study suggests a strong link between antibiotic use and colon cancer. Why is this the case and what does it mean for your health? More importantly, how can you reduce your risk of colon cancer?

Alarming study finds link between antibiotic use and colon cancer risk

A recent Swedish study reveals a correlation between the use of oral antibiotics and the risk of colorectal cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that people who took courses of antibiotics had up to 17% higher risk of colon cancer than those who did not.

People who took antibiotics for six months or more had the highest risk of developing cancer. Yet even short courses of antibiotics seemed to increase the risk of colon cancer. Disease risk was also location-specific.

The researchers found a higher cancer risk in the ascending colon, also known as the proximal colon, which is on the right side of the abdomen. The ascending colon is the beginning of the whole colon. This means he is most exposed to anything that passes through the small intestine, including oral antibiotics.

Why do antibiotics increase the risk of colon cancer?

Given that antibiotic use is so widespread, these results are alarming. But the question is, what about antibiotics that could heighten cancer risk?

The answer lies in gut microbiology. To maintain a healthy balance, an entire microbiome of good bacteria lives in your digestive tract. And since antibiotics are made to kill bacteria, they can disrupt the gut microbiome. Good microbes usually control harmful bacteria. But the use of antibiotics could contribute to the disruption of this natural order.

This, in turn, could lead to damaging inflammation in the digestive tract. For example, when harmful bacteria can grow in prominence, it can lead to the formation of a biofilm. Biofilms are structures formed when harmful bacteria join together in the lining of the colon. Ultimately, oral antibiotics can eliminate good bacteria from your gut. So while there is no evidence that antibiotics directly cause cancer, there is a correlation caused by how these drugs affect your gut microbiota.

How can you prevent colon cancer?

With all the potentially toxic chemicals in our world today, it’s essential to do everything possible to reduce your risk of cancer and disease. Many lifestyle factors can increase your risk of colon cancer. There are several things you can do to lower your chances of developing colorectal cancer:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Do not eat processed meat (toxic)
  • Consume plenty of organic vegetables and fruits on a daily basis
  • Avoid smoking tobacco
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Increase your level of physical exercise

Taking probiotics can also benefit your gut health. And while antibiotics are often needed to treat infections, it’s important to use them appropriately. They should only be taken when clearly needed and exactly as prescribed.

Republished from NaturalHealth365

Sources for this article include:

AcademicOup.com
LiveScience.com
Cancer.org

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