Impact of Different Types of Diet on Gut Microbiota Profiles and Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Mar 29;55(4):84. doi: 10.3390/medicina55040084.


: Diet is frequently considered as a food regimen focused on weight loss, while it is actually the sum of food consumed by the organism. Western diets, modern lifestyle, sedentary behaviors, smoking habits, and drug consumption have led to a significant reduction of gut microbial diversity, which is linked to many non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The latter kill 40 million people each year, equivalent to more than 70% of all deaths globally. Among NCDs, tumors play a major role, being responsible for 29% of deaths from NCDs. A link between diet, microbiota, and cancer prevention and treatment has recently been unveiled, underlining the importance of a new food culture based on limiting dietary surplus and on preferring healthier foods. Here, we review the effects of some of the most popular "cancer-specific" diets on microbiota composition and their potential impact on cancer prevention and treatment.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; calorie restriction; cancer; ketogenic diet; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted / adverse effects
  • Diet, Ketogenic / adverse effects
  • Diet, Mediterranean / adverse effects
  • Diet, Paleolithic / adverse effects
  • Fasting / adverse effects
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / therapy


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile