Recent studies from Swedish investigators suggest that blueberries may prevent colon cancer development. They suggest that blueberries should be eaten with probiotic yoghurt to further improve the benefit.
We have known for many years that antioxidants may have protective effects, but no prospective studies have validated these findings. There is a lot of data showing that colored fruits and vegetables affect cancer development, but so far we have not seen trials proving their effect.
However we know that ongoing oxidative stress is a major part of developing colon cancer. Antioxidants can help the normal cells to defend against oxidative stress. We had big hopes for selenium however it did not show the benefit we all hoped for. However we have learned in recent years that the environment in the colon may be very important.
The presence of good bacteria (probiotics) not only help with your bowel movements and regularity (ACTIVA), but these bacteria may influence the way cancer develops. The interaction of the colon mucosa (linings), bacteria, and potential agents which can cause cancer are very important.
We have started to recommend probiotic yoghurt to all our patients because of this impact on the gastrointestinal tract. How the antioxidants and bacteria interact is unclear but these data suggest that we can change the environment with bacteria and supplements and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
We are a long way to better understanding of how to further reduce colon cancer risk successfully. The exciting new data also suggest that these good bacteria may also impact how cancer behaves if it develops.
EAT your yoghurt with blueberries.