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A High-Fiber Diet and Yogurt Could Lower Lung Cancer Risk

✫Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world.

✫Microbiome positive changes may affect lung cancer progression.

✫Yogurt and high-diet fiber consumption nourishes good bacteria in our gut.

Introduction:  Lung cancer is a condition characterized by an uncontrollable cell division in the lungs[1].This uncontrollable cell growth leads to tumor which is caused due to somatic changes in the TP53(tumor protein 53), EGFR(epidermal growth factor receptor) and  KRAS( KRAS proto-oncogene) genes, as well as due to many life style and environmental factors such as: smoking, air pollution, asbestos etc. [2],[5].Cigarette smoking is considered to be the most important cause of lung cancer[3].It is believed to be responsible for at least 90% of lung carcinoma[3].The risk of lung cancer is proportional to the length of time and amount of smoked cigarettes[3].Stopping smoking significantly decreases chances of developing lung cancer[4].Based on the size of the affected cells when viewed under microscope, lung cancer is divided into two types:

•Small lung cancer, which is believed to arise in the central lung and to have a poor prognosis since it grows quickly and metastasizes commonly to the liver, brain and bones by the time it is diagnosed [5]

•Non-small lung cancer, which accounts for 85 percent of lung cancer, and based on the cells it arises it is dived into: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell lung carcinoma[5].

Fig.1 Lung cancer spotted on a chest X-ray. Image taken from [14].

Statistics:  Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men, and the second leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide[6].Whereas, in the USA is the leading cause of death among both men and women[6]. It is estimated that 142,670 deaths from this disease have occurred in this year[7].Changes in lifestyle tend to change mortality rates; due to a decrease in smoking,  from 2012-2016 death rates for men have declined by 4 percent each year and 3% for women[7].

Diagnosing and Treatment:  There are many clinical features doctor should be looking for in order to diagnose lung cancer[3]. The most common early symptoms are a cough dry and hemoptysis, which are common especially with central bronchial tumors[3].These symptoms are followed by chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, tiredness, persistent lung infections etc [8].Lung cancer is treated in several ways based  on the type of the lung cancer and its staging [9].People with lung cancer may be treated  differently: with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy or a combination of these methods[8].

Fig 2. High fiber meal with yogurt. Image adopted from [15].

Latest research:  Diet and nutrition recently turn to be very effective in lung cancer prevention since promoting a healthy gut microbiome helps in preserving host’s health[10].
Since the dietary fiber is the main source of prebiotics and a yogurt is a probiotic food, they bestow different health benefits because their consumption feeds healthy gut microbes[10].The healthy gut microbes are a source of short-chain fatty acids that reduce inflammation and strength our immune system after they get absorbed into the blood stream [10],[13].In order to find out the benefits of a diet high in fiber and yogurt and their association with reduced risk for lung cancer, a study involving 1.4 million adults in the USA, Europe and Asia was done in Vanderbilt University Medical Center[10].According to the amount of fiber they consumed, participants  were divided in five different groups[10].Data say that people with the highest consumption of fibers had 17% lower risk of lung cancer, whereas people who ate the high amount of yogurt had 19% lower risk to develop lung cancer compared to those that don’t eat it[11].When consider jointly, people with the highest amount of fiber and yogurt consumption tend to lower their chances of lung cancer by 33%[11],[12].

Conclusion: After measuring the dietary fiber intake and yogurt consumption by validated instruments, we can conclude that high-fiber diet and yogurt consumption are associated with reduced risk of lung cancer.This study proves that prebiotics and probiotics have a potential role against lung carcinoma by modulating gut microbiota in a profitable way.

✵COPYRIGHT: This article is the property of We Speak Science, a non-profit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli and Dr. Argita Zalli. The article is written by Rexhep Sahatçiu, University of Prishtina, Kosovo.




3.Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine













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