• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To register, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Gut bacteria and colon cancer


Senior Member
I only copied in a few paragraphs but the whole articles is worth reading ...


Gut bacteria could be key indicator of colon cancer risk
Colon & Colorectal Cancer news Jun 22, 2010

The human body contains more bacteria than it does cells. These bacterial communities can have a positive effect on our health, by training our immune systems and helping to metabolize the foods we eat. But they can also set us up to develop digestive disorders, skin diseases, and obesity.

Now a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine suggests that a shift in the balance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria that populate our gut could be a harbinger of colon cancer.

Researchers have known for decades that the bacteria harbored in our bodies are not innocent bystanders but rather active participants in health and disease. Yet only recently have molecular methods evolved to the point that they can identify and characterize all of our microbial residents.

Keku and her colleagues used these methods to determine the different bacteria groups contained within biopsies from 45 patients undergoing colonoscopies. They uncovered a higher bacterial diversity and richness in individuals found to have adenomas than in those without these colorectal cancer precursors.

In particular, a group called Proteobacteria was in higher abundance in cases than in controls, which was interesting considering that is the category where E. coli and some other common pathogens reside.

It is still not clear whether alterations in bacterial composition cause adenomas, or if adenomas cause this altered balance.

The UNC research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Study co-authors from UNC include Xiang Jun Shen, John F. Rawls, Thomas Randall, Lauren Burcal, Caroline N. Mpande, Natascha Jenkins, Biljana Jovov, Zaid Abdo and Robert S. Sandler.

Media contacts: Les Lang, (919) 966-9366, llang@med.unc.edu or Tom Hughes, (919) 966-6047, tahughes@unch.unc.edu

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So what are proteobacteria ? I haven't found a definition I like just yet ...

I was wondering if we have certain areas in our digestive tracts (damage or otherwise - diverticuli come to mind here) that are keeping the bad bacteria alive by providing them a safe place to multiply ? This statement from this article indicates that researchers are looking at what comes first ... bad bacteria or damage ?

It is still not clear whether alterations in bacterial composition cause adenomas, or if adenomas cause this altered balance.

In case anyone was paying attention, I appear to have a bacteria fetish. :innocent1: ... tc ... x


Senior Member
I really think they might be onto something with gut microbes/colon cancer.

Proteobacteria is a phylum (broad group) of bacteria. Beneath proteobacteria in the taxonomy you find classes such as gammaproteobacteria.

Here's a taxonomy for a dog, just for comparison.

Kingdom: Animalia (all animals in general)
Phylum: Chordata (not sure)
Class: Mammalia (mammals...)
Order: Carnivora (meat eaters)
Family: Canidae (wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes, dogs)
Genus: Canis (dogs)

Phylum is a group high up in the taxonomy. And proteobacteria is a phylum underneath "bacteria" in the taxonomy.


Senior Member
Thanks Redo,

I totally agree with you about a possible link between colon cancer and bacteria. I recently posted an article about a possible connection between celiac disease and commensal bacteria. The latter article is way over my head still tho.


Are Commensal Bacteria with a Taste for Gluten the Missing Link in the Pathogenesis of Celiac Disease? By Roy S. Jamron

And if it proves to be true that gluten-ingesting bacteria cause celiac disease, a similar mechanism involving bacteria and peptides from other proteins may be the root cause for many other autoimmune diseases. A whole class of autoimmune diseases might be cured by eliminating specific species of bacteria

I've just started down this path so I hope to find more. Btw. do you have this info in your "Its all in the gut .. " thread ? I didn't take the time to look at it that closely ...

I found this link on proteobacteria. Great detailed info on types. I only copied in a tiny bit of it.


Proteobacteria is the second largest group of bacteria. This phylum contains 1534 species or 32.3% of all known bacteria. Proteobacteria are all gram negative, but otherwise represent a diverse range of organisms such as the Purple phototrophic, Nitrifying bacteria and Enteric bacteria as well as the bacteria responsible for animal bioluminescence. Here I will briefly introduce some of the better known groups.

Unfortunately, according to this article, there are 1534 species known and I'm not sure which ones they found in the patients with colon cancer. The article on colon cancer above didn't say.

I'm thinking this may have implications in ME/CFS too. Most, all (?), of us appear to have gut damage which includes leaky gut, etc. In 2004, the parts of my digestive tract that can be seen via endoscopy and colonoscopy showed damage, including diverticuli, celiac, hiatal hernia, GERD, etc .. But as of 2009 ?, post dietary changes, all visible damage was gone. I was told that calming my my digestive tract would allow it to heal but I wonder what role Kefir played in this.

But who knows what's going on in the areas of our digestive tracts that can't be seen .. or if the parts that were visible had clues that were missed. A diagnosis of celiac disease if often missed because the gastroenterologist didn't take enough samples. Apparently, those endoscopies can be misleading ...

Low adherence to biopsy guidelines affect celiac diagnosis ...


I want to look more closely at h pylori to find out what type of bacteria it is and why it causes ulcers. As far as I know right now this is the only bacteria proven to cause serious physical damage to our digestive tracts. Hmmm, other bacteria damage our skin, etc ...

Why do we use different types of antibiotics ? Why in some instances does it take several doses to kill the bacteria and not others ? I know sinus infections are notorious for needing multiple rounds of antibiotics.

My CFS/ME started out with a URI that wouldn't go away with repeated antibiotics. In fact, it took me years to stop coughing up green stuff daily if I overexerted myself .... TMI ... lol ... My last CT scan in March showed lung scarring.

I started out with chronic UTIs too and 21 years later, I still show blood in my urine that responds to taking AZO / with probiotics. Wish I'd known about the AZO sooner. Taking Azo keeps my UTI symptoms under control and it had gotten so bad that I was shopping for Depends ... lol ...

What role are bacteriophages playing in this ? If we kill the bacteria where these viruses live what happens to the virus within it ? does it move on or die too ? And are there certain bacteria that viruses tend to live in ? We've all heard that certain viruses cause disease but are they looking at where those viruses are residing ? Some bacteria are really hard to kill off ...

... tc ... x