Common plant fiber gel can double rate of tumor death

Many people don’t realize that the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi residing within the gastrointestinal tract—collectively called the gut microbiome—are connected to overall health, and specifically to cancer.

Manipulating the gut microbiome to produce ‘beneficial’ commensal microbes, which protect the host from pathogens and can boost immune responses, among other things, could help patients respond better to cancer drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors, a type of immunotherapy.

In a new study from the University of Michigan, researchers developed a new dietary fiber formulation that improves the potency of immunotherapies against cancer by modulating the gut microbiome.

In the future, cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint blockers may benefit from consuming this inulin gel dietary fiber.

Inulin, a dietary fiber found in chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and other plants, is prebiotic that helps produce colon-residing commensal bacteria.

By formulating inulin into a more colon-targeted inulin gel formulation, the team was able to provide a rich source of nutrients to allow beneficial gut microbes to expand more in the gastrointestinal tract.

They found the inulin gel improved immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in rodents with colon carcinoma as well as melanoma.

For instance, when inulin gel was combined with an immune checkpoint inhibitor in a colon carcinoma rodent model, the rate of tumor eradication doubled (100% improvement), compared with the immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy alone.

The team says the human microbiome has recently emerged as the next frontier in drug development.

The potential health benefits of modulating gut microbiota include treating various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and neurodegenerative diseases.

In particular, a series of recent studies showed that the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in cancer patients’ response rate to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Previous studies have shown that the gut microbiome has a crucial role in our immune responses.

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome nurtures the immune system so that the immune cells can effectively fight against cancer.

If you care about cancer, please read studies about a big cause of deadly breast cancer and findings of popular heartburn drugs may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

For more information about cancer and your health, please see recent studies about processed meat with this stuff that may lead to higher cancer risk than others and results showing that this bad lifestyle habit could strongly predict cancer death.

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