Researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina have shown a diet contain- ing dried plums can posi- tively affect microbiota, also referred to as gut bacteria, throughout the colon, helping reduce the risk of colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. when men and women are considered separately, and the second-leading cause when the figures are combined.
There are trillions of bacteria in the intestinal tract, and so far, more than 400 individual species have been identified. Research has shown that disruptions to the microbiota are involved in the initiation of intestinal inflammation and recurrence of inflammatory bouts that can promote development of colon cancer. Dried plums contain phenolic compounds which have multiple effects on health, including their ability to serve as antioxidants that can neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that can damage DNA.
The study indicated that dried plums protect against colon cancer in part due to their ability “to establish seemingly beneficial colon microbiota compositions in the distal colon. While additional research is needed, par- ticularly in human studies, the results from this study are exciting because they suggest that regularly eating dried plums may be a viable dietary strategy to help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Source: AgriLife Today