Home Dieting Could a High-Fiber Diet Help Boost Cancer Survival?

Could a High-Fiber Diet Help Boost Cancer Survival?

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MONDAY, Dec. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — People present process immune-boosting remedy for superior melanoma could reply higher in the event that they eat a high-fiber weight loss program, a new examine hints.

Researchers mentioned far more examine is required, however their preliminary findings — in each melanoma sufferers and lab mice — counsel that fiber-rich foods could assist by way of their results on intestine micro organism.

In distinction, there have been indicators that probiotic dietary supplements would possibly reduce that profit.

The examine — printed Dec. 24 in Science — checked out how weight loss program and the intestine microbiome would possibly have an effect on most cancers sufferers’ response to immunotherapy — remedies that enlist the immune system to assist kill tumors.

The microbiome refers back to the trillions of micro organism and different microbes that naturally dwell within the human physique, largely within the intestine. Those microbes are integral to the physique’s regular processes — from metabolism and nutrient synthesis to mind perform and immune defenses.

In truth, immune system cells and intestine micro organism are frequently interacting, mentioned Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor on the University of California, Los Angeles, and writer of the e-book “The Gut-Immune Connection.”

Gut micro organism play a key function in “educating and training” the immune system, defined Mayer, who was not concerned within the new examine.

Fiber, in the meantime, is one issue within the composition of the intestine microbiome. It “feeds” sure varieties of micro organism — together with together with ones that produce short-chain fatty acids with anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor exercise.

Past analysis has prompt that the intestine microbiome can affect most cancers sufferers’ responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Those medicine, equivalent to Keytruda and Opdivo, are used to deal with a number of varieties of most cancers, and work by releasing a specific “brake” on immune system T-cells, releasing them to search out and assault most cancers cells.

So an intriguing query is whether or not weight loss program, together with fiber, can alter sufferers’ responses to these remedies, mentioned examine writer Dr. Jennifer Wargo, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

To examine, her crew studied 128 sufferers with superior melanoma, the deadliest type of pores and skin most cancers.

Diet questionnaires confirmed that 37 of these sufferers had “sufficient” fiber consumption — at the least 20 grams per day from meals like greens, fruit, beans and entire grains. The relaxation had been getting too little dietary fiber.

On common, the examine discovered, sufferers consuming sufficient fiber fared higher: 76% responded to immunotherapy, versus 60% of these with low-fiber diets. That meant their tumors had at the least partly regressed, or their most cancers remained steady for at the least six months.

No such profit was discovered among the many 49 sufferers who mentioned they used probiotic dietary supplements, nevertheless. And the most effective response fee was seen amongst sufferers who ate loads of fiber however took no probiotics — at 82%.

None of that proves fiber was the rationale.

So the researchers subsequent studied lab mice with melanoma tumors. They discovered that giving the animals commercially accessible probiotic dietary supplements interfered with their response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

In distinction, a high-fiber weight loss program slowed tumor progress in mice handled with the medicine, and appeared to spice up their T-cell exercise. The fiber-rich weight loss program made no distinction, nevertheless, in mice with no intestine micro organism. According to Wargo, that means the weight loss program exerted its results by way of the intestine microbiome.

After a most cancers analysis, Wargo mentioned, folks usually wish to do one thing to take management and assist assist their therapy.

Sometimes they flip to dietary supplements. But primarily based on the present findings, Wargo mentioned, warning could also be so as.

“People undergoing cancer treatment should discuss probiotic use with their care team,” she mentioned.

As for fiber, Mayer mentioned extra examine is required. He famous there may be “a lot of basic science” to assist the notion that fiber may gain advantage most cancers sufferers by way of the intestine microbiome.

But to show that, Mayer mentioned, medical trials should take a look at the results of including fiber to sufferers’ diets. He famous that plant meals, the principle supply of dietary fiber, additionally produce other vitamins, together with polyphenols, that might a part of the story as properly.

A trial placing fiber to the take a look at is underway, Wargo mentioned. The researchers are enrolling melanoma sufferers receiving immunotherapy and can randomly assign them to various quantities of dietary fiber, added to a nutritious diet really useful by the American Cancer Society.

“It’s early days in this research,” Wargo mentioned. But finally, she added, research of weight loss program, intestine microbes and immune perform may have broad implications — not just for folks with numerous varieties of most cancers, however everybody.

Could, for instance, sure diets assist folks combat infections or reply higher to vaccines, like these for the flu and COVID-19?

For anybody seeking to assist a wholesome intestine microbiome, Mayer mentioned folks ought to purpose for a vary of plant meals, in addition to fermented meals like yogurt, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and sauerkraut — which analysis has linked to larger variety in intestine micro organism.

Mayer famous, although, that’s simpler mentioned than performed for individuals who can’t afford or wouldn’t have prepared entry to wholesome entire meals.

More data

The Harvard School of Public Health has extra on nutrition and the microbiome.

SOURCES: Jennifer Wargo, MD, professor, genomic drugs and surgical oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Emeran Mayer, MD, PhD, professor, drugs, and director, Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine; Science, Dec. 24, 2021

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