Prepping your Gut with Beneficial Bacteria: For war on cancer

Bacteria are everywhere. On your mattress, in the bathroom, EVEN WITHIN OUR BODIES!

Human gut is home to over 30 trillion microbes1. These gut bacteria –some good, some bad – work together with the gut cells playing an essential role in supporting immune and digestive health.

Unfortunately, cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are often effective in treating malignancies are not without side effects. In addition to damaging gut cells, cancer treatments may disturb the symbiotic relationship between gut bacteria and gut cells. Such disturbances disrupts nutrient absorption, digestive and immune function.

Cancer patients, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, are known to suffer from complications during and after treatment such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating and constipation which result in malnutrition and significantly reduced quality of life2.

Good news is: Studies have shown that consumption of microbial cell preparation (MCP) comprising of beneficial bacteria may be very useful for people with CRC!

Cancer Care yet Cancel the Despair

The story begins with the disruption of normal gut function as a common side effect of post abdominal surgery. Thus, affecting nutrient intake and recovery of this vulnerable group of patients. Fortunately, a recent study shows that patients whom received daily HEXBIO® MCP containing Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains had faster return of normal gut function and shorter duration of hospital stay in comparison to patients administered with placebo3.

On the other hand, while chemotherapy is well-known for its side effects among the public, few will link those troubles to the quality of life of cancer patients. In one study, combined supplementation of HEXBIO® MCP and omega-3 fatty acid significantly reduced side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting and hence, improved the quality of life in CRC patients4. This study suggests that combined supplementation with HEXBIO® MCP can be used effectively in the management of chemotherapy-induced side effects.

It is clear  that the improved understanding about roles of beneficial bacteria leads us to consider the importance of using MCP made of multiple high-quality, beneficial bacterial strains, as an adjunct for cancer treatment. In fact, this has been supported by the healthcare professionals from the University of Hong Kong and University of Eastern Finland5.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the major health concern worldwide, representing the most common malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract6. Based on current presented evidence, there is no doubt that HEXBIO® is a great complementary option alongside the conventional treatment, aiming to enhance recovery and improve quality of life for CRC patients. With such reliable safety documentations, who would say ‘no’ to give it a try?


  1. Sender, R., Fuchs, S., & Milo, R. (2016). Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body. PLoS biology, 14(8), e1002533.
  2. Astin, M., Griffin, T., Neal, R. D., Rose, P., & Hamilton, W. (2011). The diagnostic value of symptoms for colorectal cancer in primary care: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice, 61(586), e231–e243.
  3. Tan, C. K., Said, S., Rajandram, R., Wang, Z., Roslani, A. C., & Chin, K. F. (2016). Pre-surgical administration of microbial cell preparation in colorectal cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. World journal of surgery, 40(8), 1985-1992.
  4. Golkhalkhali, B., Rajandram, R., Paliany, A. S., Ho, G. F., Ishak, W., Zamaniah, W., … & Chin, K. F. (2017). Strain‐specific probiotic (microbial cell preparation) and omega‐3 fatty acid in modulating quality of life and inflammatory markers in colorectal cancer patients: A randomized controlled trial. Asia‐Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  5. So, S. S., Wan, M. L., & El-Nezami, H. (2017). Probiotics-mediated suppression of cancer. Current opinion in Oncology, 29(1), 62-72.
  6. Hsu, L., Jeon, J., Brenner, H., Gruber, S. B., Schoen, R. E., Berndt, S. I., … & Harrison, T. A. (2015). A model to determine colorectal cancer risk using common genetic susceptibility loci. Gastroenterology, 148(7), 1330-1339.