Breast cancer risk may be lower for women with diverse gut bacteria

the ONA take:

According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), postmenopausal women with a diverse gut microbiome have higher levels of estrogen metabolites, and these women may have a decreased risk for developing breast cancer compared with women who have less diversity in their gut microbiome.

 

Researchers have known that gut bacteria influence whether estrogen and its metabolites continue to distribute through the body or are excreted. Also, increased levels of circulating estrogen are linked with an increased risk for developing breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

 

James Goedert, MD, of the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, said that women with a more diverse gut microbiome had increased levels of estrogen metabolites compared with women with less gut bacteria variation. Goedert suggests that the women with more variety may have a decreased risk for developing breast cancer.

 

In the study, researchers analyzed samples from 60 postmenopausal women aged 55 to 69 without breast cancer. They found that women with increased bacterial diversity had a more favorable ratio of estrogen metabolites to estrogen circulating in the body. The findings suggest that changing one's diet or taking medications to change the gut microbiome may decrease cancer risk.

Breast cancer risk may be lower for women with diverse gut bacteria
Postmenopausal women with a diverse gut microbiome have higher levels of estrogen metabolites.

Postmenopausal women with diverse gut bacteria exhibit a more favorable ratio of estrogen metabolites, which is associated with reduced risk for breast cancer, compared to women with less microbial variation, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). Since the 1970s, it has been known that in addition to supporting digestion, the intestinal bacteria that make up the gut microbiome influence how women's bodies process estrogen, the primary female sex hormone.

The colonies of bacteria determine whether estrogen and the fragments left behind after the hormone is processed continue circulating through the body or are expelled through urine and feces. Previous studies have shown that levels of estrogen and estrogen metabolites circulating in the body are associated with risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer.

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