Could Thrīv’s bacteria reduce the risk of breast cancer?

Thrīv Advance provides 350 million colony forming units of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum, per serving. But these aren't just any bacteria, they are lactic acid bacteria.

Lactic acid bacteria are a diverse group of microbes that feed on carbohydrates and produce lactic acid as the major end product. It is thanks to this group of organisms that we are able to enjoy the sour taste of yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, and kimchi, to name a few commonly eaten fermented foods. More importantly, these bacteria are also some of the first to populate the infant gut, as they are present on the breast skin and in the breast milk of breastfeeding mothers.

In fact, women's breasts harbor a unique set of microbes – their own microbiome, if you will. Although most people immediately think of the gut when the microbiome is mentioned, there are numerous microbiome communities on and within the body. The breast tissue is one of those areas, as are the genitals, the mouth, and the skin in general (among others). However, the bacterial diversity of the breast is tremendous, larger than that of the vagina, and rivaling that of the gut.

And this is where breast cancer comes into play. A recent study conducted by researchers out of Canada and Ireland has shown that healthy breast tissue harbors a distinctly different microbiome than breast tissue harboring both benign and cancerous tumors. Notably, the breast cancer tissue had significantly lower amounts of Lactococcus and Streptococcus – both of which are lactic acid bacteria.

Importantly, we cannot actually conclude anything concrete from this finding. The question remains: did breast cancer lead to a reduction in these bacteria, or did a reduction in these bacteria lead to breast cancer? Until more research is conducted, we simply don't know. However, observational research has associated the consumption of fermented milk products with a lower odds of developing breast cancer. Additionally, studies in mice have shown that consuming isolated lactic acid bacteria, fermented milk, or fermented dairy kefir significantly inhibited the development of breast cancer. And yes, supplementation with Lactobacillus acidophilus (one of the bacteria present in Thrīv) has also shown to inhibit tumor growth.

Again, while we cannot conclude which comes first – the lack of lactic acid bacteria or the breast cancer – the animal research to date does strongly support the former. Consuming probiotics can influence areas outside of the gut, such as breast tissue, because they impact the intestinal immune system, which has far-reaching consequences. Accordingly, eat your fermented foods, and know that Thrīv has your back.