Faecal steroids and bacteria and large bowel cancer in Hong Kong by socio-economic groups

Br J Cancer. 1976 Aug;34(2):191-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1976.142.


In a study of three socio-economic groups in Hong Kong, the high income group had a high faecal concentration of bile acids, especially the dihydroxy bile acids, compared to the low income group. The faecal bile acids were also more highly degraded. The faecal flora contained more bacteroides and fewer eubacteria. Very few of the clostridia able to dehydrogenate the steroid nucleus were isolated. An epidemiological study based on street blocks indicated that the high income group also have a higher incidence of cancer of the large bowel and of the breast. The results are discussed in terms of theories on the aetiology of large bowel cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerobiosis
  • Aged
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteroides fragilis / isolation & purification
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Clostridium / isolation & purification
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Eubacterium / isolation & purification
  • Feces / analysis
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Sterols / analysis*


  • Sterols
  • Cholesterol