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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide and has increased incidence in more developed countries (Parkin et al., 2005). Diets in more developed and Westernized countries, where CRC is more prevalent, tend to be energy-dense and nutrient deficient. Discovering which food patterns inhibit inflammation matters because the duration of colitis is a risk factor for CRC. Deficiencies in an American diet led to decreased gut microbiota diversity and increased prevalence of colitis. A key component of colon health is the microbiome. Dietary bioactive compounds change the composition of the microbiome. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a promising bioactive in reducing colitis. We hypothesize supplementation of DHA to a Western-type diet will suppress colitis, reduce mucosa damage in the colon, and diversify the microbiome. To test the hypothesis, we used a 2x2 factorial design with basal diet and supplement type as the variables. Then, we measured three different endpoints: microbiome profiling, colitis disease activity, and histopathology gene expression. We measured these endpoints before, during, and after colitis. To profile the microbiome, we will use 16S rRNA sequencing. Once the microbiome is processed, we will then analyze measures of diversity through the Microbiome Analyst. We anticipate seeing DHA improving multiple aspects of gut health. We also hope to learn more about the role of the diet and the gut microbiome in colorectal cancer.

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Logan, UT


colorectal cancer, fish oil supplementation, gut health, microbiome


Life Sciences

The Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation and a Western-Type Diet on Gut Health

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