Be careful! This diet increases the risk of gastrointestinal cancer

As the authors of the publications from the Helmholtz Center Munich (Germany) research center recall, the intestine is necessary for its maintenance in the body energy balance. He is a master at reacting quickly to changes in diet and nutrient imbalances. It does this through the intestinal cells (enterocytes), which specialize in, among other things, the absorption of nutrients and the secretion of hormones.

In adult people enterocytes they regenerate every five to seven days by differentiating stem cells in the small intestine. The ability of the latter to constantly differentiate themselves into all of them intestinal cell types is crucial for natural adaptability digestive system. However, it turns out to be long-lasting a diet high in sugar and fats disturbs adaptation mechanisms, which may contribute to the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, as well as gastrointestinal cancer.

The research group of prof. Heiko Lickert. The scientist and his team conducted experiments in a mouse model to assess the effects of high-sugar and high-fat diets on intestinal cells.

The first thing we noticed was a significant increase in the size of the small intestine in mice on a high calorie diet. We conducted profiling of 27 thousand. gut cells from control and unhealthy fed animals, and then using machine learning techniques, we found that gut stem cells divide and differentiate much faster in the latter.
– says Dr. Anika Böttcher, co-author of the article.

Scientists hypothesized that this could be due to the over-activation of some signaling pathways; the same that are associated with the acceleration of tumor growth in many cancers.

This is an important clue: diet affects metabolic signaling, leading to an overgrowth of gut stem cells and ultimately an increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
– concludes Böttcher.

For the same study, scientists also looked at the rare types of cells in the intestine, e.g., hormone-secreting cells. They showed that a high-calorie diet high in sugar and fat led to a decrease in the number of serotonin-producing cells in the intestine. This results in intestinal inertia or inertia typical of diabetes increased appetite. In addition, it turned out that absorbing cells quickly adapt to a high-fat diet, and thus their functionality increases, and this directly promotes weight gain.

The authors emphasize that their findings allow for a new look at the disease mechanisms associated with a high-calorie diet in a completely different and broader way.

What we learn is critical to the development of non-invasive alternative therapies to address obesity and insulin-dependent diabetes.
– believes prof. Lickert.

At the moment, she adds, there is no pharmacological tool to prevent, stop, or reverse obesity and diabetes. Only bariatric surgery causes permanent weight loss, and can even lead to diabetes remissionhowever, it is a highly invasive method, and irreversible and costly for the healthcare system. Novel non-invasive therapies could be widely used, e.g. by counteracting enteroendocrine dysregulation (i.e. by targeted regulation of serotonin levels) or by increasing the absorption of nutrients (i.e. by inducing appropriate enterocyte phenotypes).

Source:, PAP

About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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