Bacterial folate biosynthesis and colorectal cancer risk: more than just a gut feeling

Dieuwertje E. Kok, Wilma T. Steegenga, Eddy J. Smid, Erwin G. Zoetendal, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Ellen Kampman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Folate is a B-vitamin with an important role in health and disease. The optimal folate status with regard to human health remains controversial. A low intake of natural folate as well as excessive intake of synthetic folic acid, were previously linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer or with aberrant molecular pathways related to carcinogenesis in some studies. Importantly, most studies conducted so far, solely focused on dietary intake or circulating levels of folate in relation to cancer risk. Notably, diet or dietary supplements are not the only sources of folate. Several bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can synthesize B-vitamins, including folate, in quantities that resemble dietary intake. The impact of bacterial folate biosynthesis concerning human health and disease remains unexplored. This review highlights current insights into folate biosynthesis by intestinal bacteria and its implications for processes relevant to cancer development, such as epigenetic DNA modifications and DNA synthesis. Moreover, we will reflect on the emerging question whether food-grade or intestinal bacteria can be considered a potential target to ensure sufficient levels of folate in the gastrointestinal tract and, hence the relevance of bacterial folate biosynthesis for disease prevention or treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-256
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 19 2020

Fingerprint

Biosynthesis
colorectal neoplasms
Folic Acid
folic acid
Colorectal Neoplasms
Bacteria
Emotions
digestive system
Vitamins
Health
biosynthesis
DNA
Dietary supplements
Nutrition
Vitamin B Complex
vitamin B complex
Acids
intestinal microorganisms
gastrointestinal system
human health

Keywords

  • biosynthesis
  • colon
  • colorectal cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • Folate
  • intestinal bacteria
  • one-carbon metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Kok, D. E., Steegenga, W. T., Smid, E. J., Zoetendal, E. G., Ulrich, C. M., & Kampman, E. (2020). Bacterial folate biosynthesis and colorectal cancer risk: more than just a gut feeling. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 60(2), 244-256. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2018.1522499

Bacterial folate biosynthesis and colorectal cancer risk : more than just a gut feeling. / Kok, Dieuwertje E.; Steegenga, Wilma T.; Smid, Eddy J.; Zoetendal, Erwin G.; Ulrich, Cornelia M.; Kampman, Ellen.

In: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 60, No. 2, 19.01.2020, p. 244-256.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Kok, Dieuwertje E. ; Steegenga, Wilma T. ; Smid, Eddy J. ; Zoetendal, Erwin G. ; Ulrich, Cornelia M. ; Kampman, Ellen. / Bacterial folate biosynthesis and colorectal cancer risk : more than just a gut feeling. In: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2020 ; Vol. 60, No. 2. pp. 244-256.
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