Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third leading cause of cancer deaths. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the key to preventing various diseases. In recent years, probiotics, as part of a healthy diet, have received increasing attention for their role in cancer prevention and treatment, including liver cancer. Do probiotics have the potential to prevent liver cancer?
The occurrence of liver cancer is a very complex process, controlled by a variety of risk factors, including hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection, alcohol abuse, non-alcoholic fatty liver, genetic mutations, and long-term exposure to aflatoxin. These risk factors can easily lead to liver damage, which subsequently develops into liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and eventually liver cancer. The incidence of liver cancer is relatively high. Most cases of liver cancer are detected late, coupled with high treatment costs and poor results, resulting in a high mortality rate. Therefore, the early prevention of liver cancer is particularly important.
The current understanding of the potential of probiotic to prevent the occurrence of liver cancer provides some new hints for future risk management and alternative treatment of liver cancer. Probiotics can reduce the risk of liver cancer by regulating the host intestinal flora to prevent endotoxemia associated with dysbacteriosis, maintaining the intestinal epithelial barrier function, and inhibiting the translocation of intestinal bacteria and their derivatives into the body circulation.
Probiotics can also increase the expression of antioxidant enzymes to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms, produce anti-inflammatory metabolites, and reduce oxidative stress in the liver. The antiviral activity of probiotics can reduce the risk of liver cancer by preventing chronic hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection.
In addition, probiotics can also prevent liver fat toxicity by improving obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Probiotics also have anti-angiogenesis, anti-proliferation and anti-tumor metastasis properties, and can up-regulate the expression of tumor suppressor factors and inhibit the expression of oncogenes, thereby reducing the risk of liver cancer. Finally, probiotics can biologically convert non-nutritive dietary components such as flavonoids into simpler metabolites with anti-cancer effects. These anti-cancer mechanisms all illustrate the potential of probiotics as liver cancer risk management and adjuvant treatment strategies.
Supplementing lactobacillus acidophilus and can improve the liver damage of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver, which is manifested in the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and total cholesterol. In obese non-alcoholic fatty liver patients, taking probiotics can significantly reduce body weight and body fat content. Some compound probiotics can also significantly improve the liver histology of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver, and reduce liver damage caused by hepatocyte ballooning degeneration, liver fibrosis and liver lobule inflammation.
However, there are few clinical studies on probiotics in the prevention or treatment of liver cancer. In the future, further research is needed to explore the synergistic effects of different probiotics in reducing the risk of liver cancer, so as to form a compound probiotic that can provide excellent anti-cancer effects. At the same time, the ability of probiotics to biotransform some dietary ingredients into metabolites with anti-cancer properties can also be further studied to form effective synbiotic preparations for the prevention and treatment of liver cancer.
Of course, the best way to prevent liver cancer is to have a healthy diet and lifestyle, get hepatitis B vaccine, drink less alcohol, and avoid exposure to chemicals such as aflatoxin. At the same time, in today’s society full of various insecurity factors, we also look forward to probiotics to open a new era of liver cancer prevention