Anti-Cancer Strategies: Gut Microbes AhR Key to Controlling Inflammation

anti-cancer researcher Dr. Robert Chapkin

Texas A&M’s Dr. Robert Chapkin lends his voice to the plant-based movement.

Over the past decade, many researchers studying anti-cancer mechanisms have focused on the intersection of diet and chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer included. The bottom line is becoming clear:   

Eat plants, says Dr. Robert Chapkin, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Nutrition & Chronic Disease Prevention in the Department of Nutrition, Texas A&M University.  Among the reasons:  Their fiber and phytonutrients act synergistically to activate the important aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling system that exists in every cell, he says.   

We talked about that system almost five years ago right here in this blog –how certain plant foods strengthen your gut’s lining, thus keeping harmful particles from seeping across the lining into your blood and triggering an inflammatory response. Chapkin’s work broadens the picture by showing how fiber and phytos work together to amplify the AhR system and boost microbes in your gut that extinguish inflammation, the underlying driver of much modern disease.    

For more about aryl hydrocarbon receptors and the plants that support them, check out my new column for the American Institute for Cancer Research.  AICR is an international nonprofit that funds research on how nutrition and lifestyle affect cancer prevention, treatment and survival.  Full disclosure: I get paid peanuts for writing for them.

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