Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Three recent studies show that short chain fatty acids made in your 
colon when you eat certain foods help prevent and treat colon 

The first study showed that colon cancer cells, removed from 
patients at the time of surgery, reverted towards normal when they 
were placed in a media containing short chain fatty acids (1). The 
second study shows that short chain fatty acids causes the growth of 
good bacteria that heal intestinal linings and prevent cancer (2). 
And the third paper shows that germinated barley helps good bacteria 
grow in the colon, that help to heal the damage of ulcerative 
colitis (3). 

These articles confirm the theory that a diet rich in undigestible 
starch helps prevent colon cancer. Whole grains and many other 
high-fiber foods contain starches that cannot be absorbed in the 
upper intestines, so they pass to the colon where they are broken 
down by good bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids that cause the 
intestinal lining to heal and also help prevent colon cancer. These 
nonabsorbable starches also cause growth of the good bacteria that 
break them down into short-chain fatty acids.

1) Short chain fatty acids differentially modulate cellular 
phenotype and c-myc protein levels in primary human nonmalignant and 
malignant colonocytes. NJ Emenaker, MD Basson. Digestive Diseases 
and Sciences, 2001, Vol 46, Iss 1, pp 96-105Address Basson MD, Yale 
Univ, Sch Med, Dept Surg, 333 Cedar St, POB 208062, New Haven,
CT 06520 USA. 

2) The role of the colonic flora in maintaining a healthy large 
bowel mucosa. MA Chapman. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of 
England, 2001, Vol 83, Iss 2, pp 75-80.Address Chapman MA, Good Hope 
Hosp, Sutton Goldfield, W Midlands, ENGLAND. 

3) Dietary fiber fraction of germinated barley foodstuff attenuated 
mucosal damage and diarrhea, and accelerated the repair of the 
colonic mucosa in an experimental colitis. O Kanauchi, T Iwanaga, 
A Andoh, Y Araki, T Nakamura, K Mitsuyama, A Suzuki, T Hibi, 
T Bamba. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2001, Vol 16, 
Iss 2, pp 160-168Address Kanauchi O, Kirin Brewery Co Ltd, 
Corp Res & Dev Div, Appl Biores Ctr, Miyaharacho 3, Takasaki, 
Gumma 37012, JAPAN

Checked 5/3/07