Bile Acids, Gut Microbes, and the Neighborhood Food Environment—a Potential Driver of Colorectal Cancer Health Disparities

Patricia G. Wolf, Doratha A. Byrd, Kate Cares, Hanchu Dai, Angela Odoms-Young, H. Rex Gaskins, Jason M. Ridlon, Lisa Tussing-Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Bile acids (BAs) facilitate nutrient digestion and absorption and act as signaling molecules in a number of metabolic and inflammatory pathways. Expansion of the BA pool and increased exposure to microbial BA metabolites has been associated with increased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. It is well established that diet influences systemic BA concentrations and microbial BA metabolism. Therefore, consumption of nutrients that reduce colonic exposure to BAs and microbial BA metabolites may be an effective method for reducing CRC risk, particularly in populations disproportionately burdened by CRC. Individuals who identify as Black/African American (AA/B) have the highest CRC incidence and death in the United States and are more likely to live in a food environment with an inequitable access to BA mitigating nutrients. Thus, this review discusses the current evidence supporting diet as a contributor to CRC disparities through BA-mediated mechanisms and relationships between these mechanisms and barriers to maintaining a low-risk diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA2
JournalmSystems
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Bile acids
  • Cancer disparities
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Gut microbes
  • Microbes
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition equity
  • Social equity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications

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