Xenobiotics Formed during Food Processing: Their Relation with the Intestinal Microbiota and Colorectal Cancer.Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Apr 25; 20(8)IJ
The colonic epithelium is exposed to a mixture of compounds through diet, among which some are procarcinogens, whereas others have a protective effect. Therefore, the net impact of these compounds on human health depends on the overall balance between all factors involved. Strong scientific evidence has demonstrated the relationship between nitrosamines (NA), heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are the major genotoxins derived from cooking and food processing, and cancer. The mechanisms of the relationship between dietary toxic xenobiotics and cancer risk are not yet well understood, but it has been suggested that differences in dietary habits affect the colonic environment by increasing or decreasing the exposure to mutagens directly and indirectly through changes in the composition and activity of the gut microbiota. Several changes in the proportions of specific microbial groups have been proposed as risk factors for the development of neoplastic lesions and the enrichment of enterotoxigenic microbial strains in stool. In addition, changes in the gut microbiota composition and activity promoted by diet may modify the faecal genotoxicity/cytotoxicity, which can be associated with a higher or lower risk of developing cancer. Therefore, the interaction between dietary components and intestinal bacteria may be a modifiable factor for the development of colorectal cancer in humans and deserves more attention in the near future.