Alcohol consumption promotes colorectal cancer by altering intestinal permeability

Colorectal Cancer

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Sep;24(18):9370-9377. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202009_23020.


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to uncover the potential impact of alcohol consumption on the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC) and the underlying mechanism.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Overall survival was compared in CRC patients either with alcohol consumption or not. Subsequently, a mouse model of CRC was established by azoxymethane (AOM) administration. Tumor number and size were compared in CRC mice fed with Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet or normal diet. At last, pathological differences in cell proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation, and intestinal permeability, in intestines harvested from CRC mice fed with Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet or normal diet were assessed.

RESULTS: It was found that the prognosis was worse in CRC patients with alcohol consumption. In CRC mice fed with Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet, more tumor tissues were found than those in the controls. Besides, alcohol consumption remarkably impaired intestinal permeability, making it easier for bacteria to invade epithelial cells. Moreover, oral gavage of probiotics markedly improved intestinal permeability and reduced tumor number in CRC mice fed with Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Probiotics can inhibit the development of alcohol-induced CRC by protecting intestinal permeability.