MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Researchers from Texas have recently shown that the administration of hdc Lactobacillus reuteri in the gut resulted in luminal hdc gene expression and histamine production in the intestines of Hdc mice.

Would you conclude from this result that human colon cancer can be reversed or prevented by consuming probiotics?

Probably not!

You would need to be a moron to do so, in my view.

But this did not stop my favourite source of misinformation, WDDTY, to publish an article about this very study entitled “Probiotics could reverse colon cancer”. Here it is:

Colon cancer could be reversed just with probiotics that change the gut’s bacteria—and the disease can be prevented in the first place by eating whole grains, such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread, every day, two new research studies have found. In a breakthrough study that could herald in a new drugs-free approach to treating colon cancer, researchers have discovered that sufferers lack certain enzymes known as metabolites, simple ‘building-block’ compounds, in their gut, and this can cause inflammation and cancer…

Amazed?

Shocked?

I am not! By now, I know what to expect from my favourite source of misinformation, WDDTY.

18 Responses to Probiotics reverse colon cancer… no, no, no! … I was just kidding

  • The Palaeolithic people never suffered cancer- there’s no real evidence, but it is a fact. They never ate Chocolate Hob Nobs after dinner. Some people believe there”s a link.

    • But there is no reason to think they ate sauerkraut either so clearly this probiotics fad is mistaken.

    • Gut is not very good at turning into fossil, however try and google: fossilized bone cancers have been found despite the fact that bone cancers are not the most common type and anyway you were too likely to get eaten, beaten to death or starve before reaching age when most people get cancer.

    • Well, they probably just died so much younger, they could not develop cancer first hand. Which we don’t know anyway

  • Lynne and Bryan have obviously been listening to what the voices in their heads tell them. Again.

  • “…certain enzymes known as metabolites…”! Is this from the Ladybird book of biochemistry? I think I have just insulted Ladybird books.

    • “certain enzymes known as metabolites” – that is the quote that jumped out at me too, such appaling ignorance, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry but I feel so sorry for the desperate people who get drawn in by this nonsense.

      Niall

  • The vast majority of people with cancer in the US and UK read.
    To reduce the risk of cancer, stop reading.
    Certainly, stopping reading WDDTY would reduce stress levels – which might well be a factor in the cause of malignant cancer.

    • Reading about medical illnesses is one of the main causes and signs of hypochondriasis (IAD), not sure whether it holds for your view that it may be a cause of cancer Dr Rawlins.

      As a matter of interest: would you mind providing a definition of ‘stress levels’. Thank you.

      • Check out 2017 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F43.0.
        ‘Level’ means ‘extent to which a patient is affected’.

        • Thanks, will do.

        • Checked it out:
          2017 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F43.0

          F43.0 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.
          This is the American ICD-10-CM version of F43.0. Other international versions of ICD-10 F43.0 may differ.
          Reimbursement claims with a date of service on or after October 1, 2015 require the use of ICD-10-CM codes.

          Clinical Information
          A class of traumatic stress disorders that is characterized by the significant dissociative states seen immediately after overwhelming trauma. By definition it cannot last longer than 1 month, if it persists, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (stress disorders, post-traumatic) is more appropriate.
          An anxiety disorder precipitated by an experience of intense fear or horror while exposed to a traumatic (especially life-threatening) event. The disorder is characterized by dissociative symptoms; vivid recollections of the traumatic event; avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event; and a constant state of hyperarousal for no more than one month.
          Disorder characterized by the development of anxiety and dissociative symptoms as a result of exposure to a traumatic event. Symptoms last at least two days and no longer than four weeks.
          Applicable To
          Acute crisis reaction
          Acute reaction to stress
          Combat and operational stress reaction
          Combat fatigue
          Crisis state
          Psychic shock
          Approximate Synonyms
          Acute situational disturbance
          Acute stress disorder
          Fugue state due to stress reaction
          Situational disturbance, acute
          Stress reaction, fugue
          ICD-10-CM F43.0 is grouped within Diagnostic Related Group (MS-DRG v34.0):
          880 Acute adjustment reaction and psychosocial dysfunction
          Convert ICD-10-CM F43.0 to ICD-9-CM

          The following ICD-10-CM Index entries contain back-references to ICD-10-CM F43.0:
          Battle exhaustion F43.0
          Combat fatigue F43.0
          Crisis
          acute reaction F43.0
          state (acute reaction) F43.0
          emotional – see also Disorder, adjustment
          acute reaction to stress F43.0
          Delirium, delirious (acute or subacute) (not alcohol- or drug-induced) (with dementia) R41.0
          exhaustion F43.0
          Disorder (of) – see also Disease
          acute
          stress F43.0
          dissociative F44.9
          brief reactive F43.0
          stress F43.9
          acute F43.0
          Disturbance (s) – see also Disease
          situational (transient) – see also Disorder, adjustment
          acute F43.0
          Exhaustion, exhaustive (physical NEC) R53.83
          battle F43.0
          delirium F43.0
          psychosis F43.0
          Fatigue R53.83
          combat F43.0

          ‘Acute’ is in the description (less than 1 month), is ‘stress level’ mentioned?

  • Morning Dr Rawlins

    My use of ‘extent’ and ‘level’ differs from yours but fine let us move on:

    Your comment on WDDTY is WITTY, but it needs to be mentioned that your association of ‘stress levels’ with cancer is misleading and erroneous, wouldn’t you say?

    • Nope.
      The more folks with cancer are stressed, the less able they are to cope with the stress of having cancer.
      That’s where CAMs come in (and proper regular medicine too).

      (Yes, I do know I employed a circular argument, begging the question, petitio principii – which is a logical fallacy!)

      • Dr Rawlins: The phrase ’cause of malignant cancer’ caused the confusion. I am starting to understand you better now, you don’t actually mean everything you say.

        Anyway, for the time being, I take it that you ARE busy amassing information for your GMC dossier.

        Good luck with that.

  • Dr Rawlins, I think I know what may be the issue getting under your skin: it is not ‘integrated medicine’; it is not the 100 grand spent by the NHS on homeopathic medicines; it is not GMC doctors prescribing homeopathy?

    Is ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY) the real issue for you?

    • No.
      I’ve only read WDDTY once.
      I read the BMJ every week and the Magic Circular every month, and recognise falsehoods when I see them.

      The ‘issue’ is as I have regularly stated:
      Professional integrity, probity and intellectual honesty – as applied for the benefit of those who are suffering.
      Particularly if they are gullible and/or vulnerable.
      It’s called ‘caring’ in my trade.

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