London: Researchers have found that people with a certain type of bacteria in their gut may be at a greater risk of developing bowel cancer. The gut microbiome is the collection of fungi, bacteria and viruses within our gut. There is an increasing evidence that the make-up of the microbiome plays a role in human health and the body’s susceptibility to disease.
“In the first study to use a technique called Mendelian randomisation to investigate the causal role played by bacteria in the development of bowel cancer, we found evidence that the presence of an unclassified type of bacteria from a bacterial group called Bacteroidales increased the risk of bowel cancer by between 2-15 per cent,” said study researcher Kaitlin Wade from the University of Bristol in UK.
This means that, on an average, people with this type of bacteria within their guts may have a slightly higher risk of bowel cancer as compared to those who don’t. For the study, the researchers used data from 3,890 people taking part in the Flemish Gut Flora Project, the German Food Chain Plus study and the PopGen study, and 120,328 people in the international Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium.
These genome-wide association studies (GWAS) searched for small variations in the genomes of participants that occur more frequently in people with a particular disease or characteristic than in people without that disease or characteristic.