Food poisoning: How it raises your colon cancer risk

Just the word “salmonella” can make people cringe. And for good reason. Food poisoning can be miserable.

These pesky bacteria are typically found in both animal and human intestines and are shed through their excrement. While salmonella is most often associated with the consumption of undercooked chicken or eggs, humans can become infected through contact with any contaminated food or water source.

In some cases, the infection doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, most people develop fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 8 to 72 hours of exposure and recover within a few days to a week without needing specific treatment.

For most people, salmonella encounters usually end there. But there are less fortunate individuals for whom the infection can lead to long-term health issues like irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis, as well as this potentially deadly condition…

Salmonella exposure could raise colon cancer risk

An international team of researchers led by Dr. Jun Sun, a professor from the University of Illinois Chicago, first looked at data from a Netherlands-based study that analyzed tissue samples taken from patients during routine colon cancer surgery. The study found that the samples containing salmonella antibodies tended to be from people with worse colon cancer outcomes.

The Sun-led team used the salmonella strains isolated from those tissue samples to study mice with colon cancer that had been exposed to the bacteria. They saw that the tumors in the mice with salmonella exposure grew faster and were larger than in the mice that had not been exposed.

According to Sun, the bacteria take over essential host signaling pathways during infection, a molecular action that could lead to tumor transformation.

Sun’s collaborators in the Netherlands also conducted a laboratory study of the salmonella bacteria. They combined human cancer cells and pre-cancerous cells with the salmonella strain, then measured any growth or changes in the tumor.

The results showed that even one salmonella infection caused cell transformation — and that each subsequent infection increased that rate of transformation exponentially.

“The current study tells us that more research is needed into the connection between salmonella exposure and colon cancer risk in the USA, and that simply by practicing safe food preparation, we can potentially help to protect ourselves,” Sun says. She adds that the evidence also indicates the need to examine salmonella exposure as an environmental risk factor for other chronic diseases.

Ways to protect yourself from salmonella and its cancer threat

Obviously, the best way to defend against salmonella infection is to not get exposed in the first place. You can avoid getting and spreading salmonella by washing your hands, following safe and sanitary food preparation methods and not eating raw meat, dairy or egg products. Also, when you travel, you may want to steer clear of places where the drinking water and food preparation methods are not sanitary.

One good way to support your body in fending off bacteria like salmonella is to eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables. Research shows vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale help optimize levels of a protective protein that fights pathogens in your gut.

Cruciferous vegetables also have some cancer-fighting clout…

Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center just discovered that a compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables could target a cancer gene that suppresses tumor growth.

The cruciferous cancer fighter is a molecule called indole-3-carbinol (I3C). When broccoli or any other cruciferous vegetables are chewed, plant enzymes are released. Once these enzymes are exposed to stomach acid, indole-3 carbinol (I3C) is formed which, in turn, yields di-indole methane (DIM) — considered a chemoprotective compound.

Research showed that this molecule has an interesting effect on a gene called WWP1, which can fuel cancer development. It inactivated it and bolstered a well-known potent tumor-suppressive gene called PTEN.

Not a fan of the cruciferous? Eat nuts. This food heals your gutslows the inflammation linked to colon tumor growth and reduces overall colon cancer risk.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!


Salmonella exposure a risk for colon cancer — UIC Today

Repetitive non-typhoidal Salmonella exposure is an environmental risk factor for colon cancer and tumor growth — Cell Reports Medicine

Salmonella infection — Mayo Clinic

Carolyn Gretton

By Carolyn Gretton

Carolyn Gretton is a freelance writer based in New Haven, CT who specializes in all aspects of health and wellness and is passionate about discovering the latest health breakthroughs and sharing them with others. She has worked with a wide range of companies in the alternative health space and has written for online and print publications like Dow Jones Newswires and the Philadelphia Inquirer.