Review Article

Critical Review on Probiotics and its Effect on Cancer

Farzane Vafaeie

Farzane Vafaeie
Faculty of science, department of Biology, Ferdowsi university of Mashhad , Mashhad, Iran. Email: vafaeief@um.c.ir
Online First: May 01, 2016 | Cite this Article
Vafaeie, F. 2016. Critical Review on Probiotics and its Effect on Cancer. The Cancer Press 2(2): 31-35. DOI:10.15562/tcp.18


Probiotics are defined as live microbial food ingredients that produce several beneficial effects to human health . The effects of probiotics may be classified in three modes of action. (i) Probiotics might be able to modulate the host’s defenses. (ii) Probiotics can also have a direct effect on other microorganisms, commensal and/or pathogenic ones. (iii) Finally, probiotic effects may be based on actions affecting microbial products like toxins, host products e.g. bile salts and food ingredients. All three modes of probiotic action are in all likelihood involved in infection defense, prevention of cancer and in stabilizing or reconstituting the physiological balance between the intestinal microbiota and its host. Numerous bacteria in and on its external parts protect the human body from harmful threats. Several animal studies have shown that supplementation with specific strains of lactic acid bacteria (probiotics) could prevent the establishment, growth, and metastasis of transplantable and chemically induced tumors. An inverse relationship between the consumption of fermented dairy products, containing lactobacilli or bifidobacteria (are the main probiotic groups) Pediococcus, Lactococcus, Bacillus, Shirota, Caseii, Lactis, Rhamnosus, Plantarum and yeasts and the incidence of colon, gastric cancer and breast cancer has also been reported in epidemiological and population based case-control studies. The effectiveness in the treatment of cancers is based on the restoration of the sensitivity of transformed cells to apoptotic signals. The anticancer activity through induction of apoptosis of cancer cells seems to be promising approach for use of some probiotic strains as a support therapy or disease prevention. A wealth of data implicates that special receptors have essential roles in tumor development. A wealth of evidence emerging from laboratory studies indicates anticancer activity of probiotics.

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