According to recent estimates, over one third of the human population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. While genetic factors play a large part in cancer risk, as much as 50% of cancers may be preventable through various lifestyle modifications. Nutrition is a major modifiable risk factor, both through its impacts on obesity as well as through dietary chemical exposures that can either increase or decrease cancer risk. However, specific associations and mechanistic links between diet and cancer risk are either inconsistent or elusive. New insights regarding the reciprocal interactions between diet and the gut microbiota, the trillions of organisms that reside in our intestines, may help clarify how diet impacts cancer. The gut microbiota is largely shaped by an individual’s diet and has far-reaching effects on metabolism, the immune system, and inflammation- important factors in the development and progression of various cancers. Likewise, the microbiota modifies dietary components, and consequently, exposure to metabolites that can influence cancer. This review explores some of these diet-microbiota interactions in the context of their potential impacts on cancer prevention.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.