By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – A new study published in the journal Cell Reports finds that prebiotics could help fight the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Probiotics are live strains of bacteria, but prebiotics are the food for bacteria and stimulate bacterial growth.

Scientists in California looked at two prebiotics: mucin, which is found in the gut and inulin, found in plants like asparagus and onions.

They found that when mice with melanomas were fed these prebiotics, the growth of the tumors was slowed by boosting the immune system’s ability to fight cancer.

They say this is further evidence that gut microbes influence the immune system and that prebiotics could be used to augment current cancer therapies.

They say larger studies are needed.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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