I’ll keep this short and sweet. A study published in Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, pits scFOS against Resistant Starch in mice with colon cancer.
The result? Resistant Starch did nothing. scFOS significantly reduced cancerous tumors.
But there’s more: scFOS also resulted in the generation of lymphoid tissue in the small intestine. GALT. No, not everyone’s favorite character from one of the more overrated books of the last century. We’re talking about gut-associated lymphoid tissue. The largest mass of immune tissue in the body, defending the body against pathogens and housing T and B cells. Up to 70 percent of the body’s immune system is in the gastrointestinal system.
The scFOS diet resulted in the generation of new lymphoid nodules — Peyer’s Patches — along the small intestine. These are little warehouses of immune system activity in the gut, usually found toward the distal end of the small intestine.
Here’s how the authors explain the results:
sc-FOSs and RS are fermentable fibers that provide protection against earlier stages of colon carcinogenesis: they both reduce the number of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in rats, in conjunction with high butyrate production.4 The inefficiency of RS in the present experiment suggests that fermentation either is not involved in the protective effect or is not sufficient by itself.
I’d add one other possibility: perhaps RS simply didn’t stimulate the same amount of fermentation, didn’t target the correct site, or didn’t target the right bacterial species.
Either way…seems like a big deal.