September 29, 2008

Possible DNA Link to Gut Cancer

A COMMON bacterium may trigger cancer by damaging DNA in gut wall cells, research has shown.

Enterococcus faecalis is one of the myriad of bugs that inhabit the intestines.

Most of these bacteria are harmless and many are beneficial to health.

But the new study suggests E. faecalis has a dark side. When its metabolism operates in a certain way, the bug releases a potentially dangerous by-product.

Destructive oxygen molecules produced by E.faecalis damage DNA and alter the way cells grow and divide, according to the research published in the journal Medical Microbiology.

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