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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2013 Sep;15(9):346. doi: 10.1007/s11894-013-0346-0.

The microbiome and colorectal neoplasia: environmental modifiers of dysbiosis.

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  • 1Program in Integrative Nutrition & Complex Disease, Center for Translational Environmental Health Research, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2253, USA.


The etiology of colon cancer is complex, yet it is undoubtedly impacted by intestinal microbiota. Whether the contribution to colon carcinogenesis is generated through the presence of an overall dysbiosis or by specific pathogens is still a matter for debate. However, it is apparent that interactions between microbiota and the host are mediated by a variety of processes, including signaling cascades, the immune system, host metabolism, and regulation of gene transcription. To fully appreciate the role of microbiota in colon carcinogenesis, it will be necessary to expand efforts to define populations in niche environments, such as colonic crypts, explore cross talk between the host and the microbiota, and more completely define the metabolomic profile of the microbiota. These efforts must be pursued with appreciation that dietary substrates and other environmental modifiers mediate changes in the microbiota, as well as their metabolism and functional characteristics.

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