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2p vitamin gives 'better cancer immunity' by changing gut bacteria, study finds

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New research suggests vitamin D can alter gut bacteria to enhance cancer immunity.The study, conducted on mice, discovered the vitamin promotes the growth of a type of gut bacteria which boosts the animals' immunity against the disease.Scientists observed mice with a vitamin D-rich diet exhibited stronger immune resistance to transplanted cancers and responded better to immunotherapy treatments.

Vitamin D can be purchased for around 2p a pill from Boots and Amazon.The team was intrigued to find vitamin D influences specific cells in the intestine, leading to an increase in a bacteria known as Bacteroides fragilis.

The results indicated tumours grew less in these conditions, implying the microbe provided the mice with enhanced immunity to cancer."What we've shown here came as a surprise vitamin D can regulate the gut microbiome to favour a type of bacteria which gives mice better immunity to cancer," said Caetano Reis e Sousa, the senior author of the study who leads the Immunobiology Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute."This could one day be important for cancer treatment in humans, but we don't know how and why vitamin D has this effect via the microbiome.

More work is needed before we can conclusively say that correcting a vitamin D deficiency has benefits for cancer prevention or treatment."To determine if the bacteria alone could improve cancer immunity, researchers administered Bacteroides fragilis to mice on a standard diet.

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