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Significant mercury deposits in internal organs following the removal of dental amalgam

Significant mercury deposits in internal organs following the removal of dental amalgam

Two new studies published this week suggest that a type of gut bacteria found in the mouth may trigger colorectal cancer by influencing the immune response and switching on cancer genes.

The researchers believe their findings may lead to more timely and improved ways of diagnosing, preventing, and treating colorectal cancer.

Our gut contains trillions of bacteria, vastly outnumbering our own cells. These microbe communities maintain our health by training our immune system and helping us digest food. But they can also trigger disease.

There is evidence that an imbalance between the "good" and the "bad" gut bacteria may promote colon cancer.

The two new studies, published in the August 14th online issue of the journalCell Host & Microbe, focus on a genus of bacteria called Fusobacteria, and the species F. nucleatum in particular.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer among Americans. Researchers have found Fusobacteria from the mouth are also abundant in tissues from colorectal cancer patients.

But until this latest research, it was not clear whether these gut microbes actually trigger tumors, and if so, how they do it.

In the first study, the researchers found Fusobacteria in benign tumors that can become cancerous over time. This might suggest that they contribute to the early stages of tumor formation.

Then, in mice bred to have a human-like form of colorectal cancer, the team found the bacteria sped up tumor formation by summoning a type of immune cell called myeloid cells, which penetrate tumors and trigger inflammations that can lead to cancer.

Senior author Wendy Garrett, of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the US, told the press:

"Fusobacteria may provide not only a new way to group or describe colon cancers but also, more importantly, a new perspective on how to target pathways to halt tumor growth and spread."

A NOTE From Dr. Blanche D. Grube and Dr. David Villarreal:
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