The Large Intestine

It is becoming increasingly evident that the large and complex bacterial population of the large intestine and their metabolism has an important role in toxicity of ingested chemicals and in cancer (28-31). A number of potential mechanisms have been proposed whereby gut bacteria may impact carcinogenesis. They may have a direct effect through the binding of potential mutagens and thus reduce exposure to the host (32). The normal microbiota present in the gut is known to produce and release toxins, which can bind specific cell surface receptors and affect intracellular signal transduction (33). Bacterial involvement in CRC has been widely studied with most information being derived from animal work and some human studies. Evidence from a wide range of sources supports the view that the colonic microbiota is involved in the etiology of cancer (Table 1).

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