Now, they are observing similar results in humans. After analyzing the diet and intestinal microbiota of 128 skin cancer patients taking ICB, they discovered that for every 5 g increase in fiber ingested per day, the risk of dying from this disease decreased by 30 %. This article, published at the end of 2021, represented a considerable step forward towards a new understanding of how diet not only prevents cancer, but also supports treatment. “It was a blockbuster,” says Jennifer Wargo. This opened the way to a completely new type of treatment line. »
Researchers are now trying to understand how different diets target the microbiota in different groups of people, not just cancer patients. It appears that fiber is probably not the only important nutrient. Work by Laura Bolte, from the University of Groningen, links the Mediterranean diet to improved susceptibility to ICB in people with advanced skin cancer. Additionally, in a 2021 trial of thirty-six healthy adults at Stanford University School of Medicine, fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha were found to inhibit inflammatory markers. and promoted the diversity of the intestinal microbiota.
Much remains to be elucidated. For example, the fermentation study associated very few, if any, benefits with a high-fiber diet. According to Carrie Daniel-Macdougall, a nutritional epidemiologist at MD Anderson Medical Center and Jennifer Wargo’s collaborator, this may be because participants were already getting a reasonable amount of fiber when the study began.
However, according to researchers, placing emphasis on the microbiota has given rise to a paradigm shift in the field of nutrition and disease. Carrie Daniel-MacDougall remembers that more than a decade ago, she had no science-based advice to give to her cancer patients who asked her what they should eat to fight the disease. Now, evidence is mounting that it is better to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods (avocados, berries, and leafy green vegetables) and eat fewer foods ultra-processed, red meat, sugars and saturated fats, although with some nuances depending on a person’s condition and nutritional needs.--
Whole foods may be more effective than supplements, adds Carrie Danie MacDougall, because they contain compounds that stimulate the bacteria that contribute most to the balance of our microbiota. “When there aren’t enough good bacteria, then the bad bacteria can really thrive,” she warns.
Anti-inflammatory diets have long been trendy, but experts say they often place a misguided emphasis on reducing inflammation rather than optimizing how the body regulates the process, while still granting excessive emphasis on certain foods or nutrients rather than a healthy diet as a whole.
Although much of the advice emerging from new research echoes very old advice, today we have more reasons than ever to explain why it works. “Opt for a diet abundant in plant-based foods rich in fiber,” advises Carrie Daniel-MacDougall. Put more on your plate and get rid of the other nonsense. »