One cause of breast cancer, researchers say, could be inflammation caused by harmful bacteria. Scientists advise consumption of natural yogurt, which contains beneficial bacteria that dampen inflammation and are close to the bacteria present in breastfeeding mothers.
A advice is to contain this bacteria, as breast feeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Yogurt intake is also related to a reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
Scientists believe their theory is backed by the current evidence that bacterial inflammation is associated with cancer, but is yet to be confirmed.
The article in the journal Clinical Hypotheses is by Auday Marwaha, medical student at Lancaster University, Professor Jim Morris of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust University Hospitals, and Dr Rachael Rigby of the School of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University.
The researchers say that:
“There is a simple, inexpensive potential preventive remedy; which is for women to consume natural yogurt on a daily basis.”
Yogurt contains beneficial lactose fermenting bacteria commonly found in milk, similar to the bacteria — or microflora- found in the breasts of mothers who have breastfed.
Dr Rigby said:
“We now know that breast milk is not sterile and that lactation alters the microflora of the breast.
Lactose fermenting bacteria are commonly found in milk and are likely to occupy the breast ducts of women during lactation and for an unknown period after lactation.”
Their claim is that this lactose fermenting bacteria in the breast is beneficial as breast feeding each year decreases the risk of breast cancer by 4.3%. Some other studies have shown that yogurt intake is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk, which the researchers say may be due to the displacement by beneficial bacteria of harmful bacteria.
The human body has around 10 billion bacterial cells, and although most are harmless, certain bacteria produce toxins that cause inflammation in the body.
Chronic inflammation destroys the harmful germs but it also damages the body. One of the most common inflammatory conditions is gum disease or periodontitis which has already been linked to oral, oesophageal, colonic, pancreatic, prostatic and breast cancer.
The researchers conclude that:
“The stem cells which divide to replenish the lining of the breast ducts are influenced by the microflora, and certain components of the microflora have been shown in other organs, such as the colon and stomach, to increase the risk of cancer development.
“Therefore a similar scenario is likely to be occurring in the breast, whereby resident microflora impact on stem cell division and influence cancer risk.”