From one end to the other: Mouth bacteria linked to aggressive colon cancer
09/24/2019 // Melissa Smith // Views

Oral health may be linked to much more than just the appearance and smell of your teeth. In a recent study published in the EMBO Reports, researchers found that tooth decay can make colon cancer more aggressive. The study reported that common oral bacteria associated with tooth decay can accelerate the growth of colon cancer.

Dr. Yiping Han, one of the researchers of the study and a professor at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine, reported that it may be harder to treat people with colon cancer if they have poor oral health. This may also explain why some cases develop quicker than others.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death by cancer in the U.S. It develops due to the mutation of tumors, as well as other factors, including microbes. (Related: One in seven colon cancer cases now diagnosed in people under age 50.)

In a previous study, Han and his team found that Fusobacterium nucleatum, a common oral bacterium that plays a role in the accumulation of dental plaque, makes a molecule called FadA adhesin, which triggers a signaling pathway in colon cells that has been linked to several cancers.

F. nucleatum is associated with one-third of colon cancers, which are often the most aggressive. They also discovered that FadA adhesin only triggers the growth of cancerous cells and not healthy cells.

In their current study, the researchers determined how F. nucleatum bacteria boost the growth of colon cancer and why they only interacted with cancer cells. They found that in cell cultures, healthy colon cells lack a protein called Annexin A1, which stimulates cancer growth.


They then confirmed – both in vitro and in vivo tests using mice – that disabling Annexin A1 inhibited F. nucleatum from binding to the cancer cells, which slowed their growth. In addition, the team found that F. nucleatum boosted the production of Annexin A1, which attracted more of the bacteria.

"We propose a two-hit model, where genetic mutations are the first hit. F. nucleatum serves as the second hit, accelerating the cancer signaling pathway and speeding tumor growth," said Han.

After that, they examined an RNA-sequencing data set from the National Center for Biotechnology Information that included 466 patients with primary colon cancer. They found that those with increased Annexin A1 expression had a worse prognosis, regardless of the cancer grade and stage, age, or sex.

Han and his team are now looking for ways to develop Annexin A1 as a biomarker for other aggressive cancers and as a possible target for developing new treatments for colon and other forms of cancer.

Inhibiting the growth of F. nucleatum

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that certain compounds in green and black tea can prevent the growth of F. nucleatum and reduce their virulence properties. In this study, researchers from Laval University in Quebec looked at the effects of green tea and black tea extracts, as well as two of their bioactive compounds epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and theaflavins, on the growth and virulence properties of F. nucleatum.

They found that the tea extracts and compounds exhibited antibacterial activity against F. nucleatum. They also inhibited biofilm formation by the bacteria. In a pre-formed F. nucleatum biofilm, treatment with green tea extract and EGCG reduced biofilm viability. The green and black tea extracts, EGCG, and theaflavins also reduced the bacteria’s adherence to oral epithelial cells and matrix proteins.

From these findings, the researchers concluded that tea polyphenols may potentially be used for the treatment of F. nucleatum-related health issues like periodontal disease.

Sources include:

Take Action:
Support Natural News by linking to this article from your website.
Permalink to this article:
Embed article link:
Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use is permitted with credit to (including a clickable link).
Please contact us for more information.
Free Email Alerts
Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.
App Store
Android App
eTrust Pro Certified

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2022 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

This site uses cookies
Natural News uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.
Learn More
Get 100% real, uncensored news delivered straight to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email privacy is completely protected.