There are few words that strike more despair into the human heart than the word cancer. Almost everyone has had a loved one or friend suffer from the cruel disease. Modern medicine has been unable to discover a cure for cancer thus far. For this reason more and more people are turning towards natural ways to fight cancer.
One of the difficulties in battling cancer is that not every cancer is the same. Some types of cancer respond to one treatment, while the same treatment might be absolutely useless on another type of cancer. Researchers are finding that there is one therapy that seems to help fight several different types of cancer. This healing substance is not an artificial drug but can be found in nature. As a whole it is called probiotics.
What Are Probiotics?
A probiotic, as defined by MedicineNet.com, is a microbe that protects its host and prevents disease. While there are many different types of probiotics, the one most familiar to us is lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found naturally in yogurt. This is a lactic acid bacterium whose job is to convert the complex sugars in food into lactic acid.
These small microbes live in the intestines of humans and help them maintain a healthy immune and digestive system. Unfortunately, the modern diet, chemicals, pollutants and the extensive use of antibiotics have worked together to destroy these beneficial bacteria. What researchers are finding is that replacing the microbes that have been killed off has a substantial effect on the host human’s health.
How Do Probiotics Fight Cancer?
The truth is that scientists are not entirely sure why probiotics are helpful for fighting cancer. There are several theories that reflect the fact that probiotics do indeed have some power over cancer.
One of these theories is that probiotics might slow down the rapid growth of bacteria that change procarcinogens into carcinogens. This would reduce the number of carcinogens in the digestive system, thereby possibly slowing the growth of cancer.
Another hypothesis is that these tiny microbes stimulate mucosal INF-gamma secretion. By so doing the probiotics boost the immune system and regulate apoptosis, which is the genetically programmed process that causes cell death. This greatly reduces the risk of cancer.
A major benefit of using probiotics against cancer is that healthy cells are not destroyed along with the bad ones, as is the case with most traditional cancer treatments.
Different Probiotic Treatments
There are several different ways probiotics are used in the battle against man’s most feared disease. The easiest and most direct method is the simple consumption of lactic acid bacterium. These are found naturally in yogurt and other fermented dairy products. Studies have shown that people who regularly enjoy these bacteria rich foods have a far lower risk of contracting colon and breast cancer, among other types.
Another way probiotics help cancer treatment is by using them as carriers for anti-cancer drugs. This method of introducing these powerful drugs allows the medicine to be introduced at the cancer site and adapt naturally to the conditions in that part of the body. This type of enhanced bacteria therapy has found measured success in the treatment of certain types of cancer.
The Bottom Line
Probiotics are not a cure for cancer. They can, however, help fight against cancer. These invisible microbes have not only been shown to make lasting effects on existing cancers but are also a powerful protection against cancer. Probiotics are constantly being studied to discover new ways of applying their health benefits to destroy cancer. Who knows? Maybe the cure for cancer lies in these simple bacterias.