Probiotics and prebiotics in primary care for colon cancer

Fabiana Gouveia Denipote Erasmo Benício Santos de Moraes Trindade Roberto Carlos Burini About the authors

CONTEXT: Colon neoplasias are presently the third most common cancer type. Its treatment is still associated with high risk of complications, thus emphasizing the need to design new treatment strategies. The ingestion of probiotics and prebiotics, or the combination of both (symbiotics), represents a new therapeutic choice. In front of the importance among qualitative and quantitative balance in intestinal microbiota for human's health and with the purpose to evaluate the application of probiotics and prebiotics, this study tries to approach the importance of these in both the prevention and treatment of colon cancer. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A study was conducted on scientific databases (Medline, Lilacs, PubMed, Ovid, SciELO), and a review was made of recent scientific articles in the literature, from 2003 to 2008. Additional informations were taken from sites in the internet. RESULTS: Studies point out the inverse relation between the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics in colon cancer diagnosis through various action mechanisms, including: immune response stimulation, reduction in inflammation, for directly inhibiting the formation of tumor cells and for converting pre-carcinogenic substances into carcinogenic ones. CONCLUSION: Through this literature review, it was possible to achieve positive answers as regards the use of probiotics and prebiotics in carcinogenesis, which can be adequately recommended.

Probiotics; Prebiotics; Simbiotics; Colonic neoplasms


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