Gut Health & Cancer: The Surprising Correlation

I was at both of my mom’s doctors’ appointments when she was given the dreaded news: you have cancer. This has been a summer of appointments, hospital visits, and sheer worry. It’s only been 10 days since she had surgery, which was followed by a bad bacterial infection.

Thankfully, she’s starting to feel better. But her gut flora is still messed up. Stress, medications, antibiotics, processed foods, and surgeries are all factors that cause the gut’s balance of good and bad bacteria to break down. Simply put, when the gut’s bacteria is out of whack, inflammation sets in, leading to many diseases.

A healthy gut flora can help prevent and fight cancer and other illnesses. Scientists and researchers are currently conducting studies to confirm this and further educate us on this important connection. In fact, Daniel Chen, head of cancer immunotherapy research at Roche’s Genentech division, had this to say in a phone interview:

"Five years ago, if you had asked me about bacteria in your gut playing an important role in your systemic immune response, I probably would have laughed it off. Most of us immunologists now believe that there really is an important interaction there.”

I’m grateful for the work I do, so I can help my mom recover by increasing the beneficial bacteria through pro and prebiotic-rich foods. Her appetite is still quite weak, and I can’t get her to have green shakes and sauerkraut yet, but I’m filling her plate with as many nutrients as I can.

Gut Healing Foods & Supplements

  • BioK mixed with chia seeds and banana

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  • Homemade gluten-free “Focaccia Bread”, made with Italian probiotic spice, slathered with organic peanut butter (stay tuned for the recipe!)

  • Bifidobacteria tablets, plus a 5-billion count probiotic

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, feel free to contact me with questions or concerns about your gut flora. I’m here to help.