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Microbiota and colon cancer prevention at World Digestive Health Day

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World Digestive Health Day is celebrated on 29 May. Promoted every year, since 2004, by the World Organization of Gastroenterology, it is an opportunity to raise awareness and expand knowledge on the subject, in particular on the health of the microbiota. Alfasigma, always at the forefront of gastroenterological health, confirms its commitment in this area to support patients. Furthermore, it strengthens a series of information awareness and awareness initiatives through awareness campaigns and initiatives. World Digestive Health Day is an opportunity to emphasize how the digestive system is able to support our physical and mental health. Taking care of our digestive system can activate a virtuous circle influencing our mood and our psychophysical well-being. This year, World Digestive Health Day is in particular dedicated to the prevention of colorectal cancer, a neoplasm in which the microbiota plays a fundamental role. The Covid-19 pandemic has upset almost every element of life, including the good habit of undergoing routine health screenings essential to prevent various diseases, including cancer. One of the most important dangers is represented by colorectal cancer which is the second most common cancer ever. In fact, there are almost 50,000 new cases in one year in Italy, about 500,000 in Europe, and almost 2 million in the world. Early diagnosis screening programs have slowed down due to the explosion of the Covid emergency: -32% of invitations, – 45% of exams, with an average of more than 5 months delay compared to the standard schedule. Delays often dramatic for the patients themselves. The net survival 5 years after diagnosis is 65% in men and 66% in women. But what role does the intestinal microbiota play in the development of colorectal cancer? “Colorectal cancers – explains Maria Rescigno, professor of general pathology, vice-rector and pro-rector of research at Humanitas University – are linked to lifestyles and familiarity. Protection factors are represented by the consumption of fruit and vegetables, unrefined carbohydrates, vitamin D and calcium and by the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for a long time ”. All of these elements are closely related to the health of the microbiota. The scientific literature has already amply shown that some bacteria can promote the development of various diseases, including the formation of some tumors. “In the studies that I coordinate, we try to understand the relationship between a given microbiota and the reaction to therapies – continues Rescigno -. In this way we can think of modifying or modulating the microbiota in order to make the treatments more and more effective. For example, in a study that we published some time ago in Nature Microbiology, we discovered the existence of protective bacteria with anticancer properties, capable of blocking the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells. In particular, we have seen that, when the tumor cell begins to form, the composition of the intestinal mucus also changes, which makes the environment unfavorable for some bacteria and favorable for others, including protective ones “. This is why the health of the microbiota is closely correlated with our ability to feel good and can affect the development of important neoplasms. Our microbiota, in fact, works in two ways to maintain health: by stimulating the body’s immune system to respond more quickly to pathogens and by directly fighting pathogens that try to settle in the gastrointestinal tract. All this suggests the way to develop in the future therapies and supplements that are increasingly capable of fighting bad bacteria and the opportunity to carry out campaigns that inform about the importance of implementing all those healthy habits capable of maintaining in a state of good health our microbiota.Alfasigma, always at the forefront of patient health, celebrates the World Day of Digestive Health with the initiative ‘The Gut Feeling Theory’, the new space dedicated to “microbiomerevolution”. The gut microbiota can be modulated by probiotics, but each of these has different effects that you need to know about. This is why a digital space has been created on microbioma.it that experts from various specialties will be able to update with the latest developments relating to research and the clinic. In addition to the continuous updating, there will be episodes dedicated to an in-depth study of some issues relating to the microbiota. Not only that: with regard to the prevention of colorectal cancer, Alfasigma has created with an unconditional contribution “Ti spiego la colon”, an awareness campaign that has already reached more than 390,000 people in 2021 through digital channels and social media. The evolution of the campaign in 2022 foresees an expansion of the contents. Testimonial of “Ti spiego la colon” Ludovico, the child who, through a cartoon, explains how to prepare for colonoscopy correctly. On the website www.tispiegolacolon.it all the information.

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