MeaTIc: Faecal microbiome as determinant of the effect of diet on colorectal-cancer risk: comparison of meat based versus pesco-vegetarian diets

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is strongly affected by diet, with red and processed meat increasing risk. To understand the role of microbiome in this phenomenon and to identify specific microbiome/metabolomics profiles associated with CRC risk, we will study: 1) healthy volunteers fed for 3 months with: a high-CRC risk diet (meat-based MBD), a normalized CRC risk diet (MBD plus alpha-tocopherol, MBD-T), a low-CRC risk diet (pesco-vegetarian, PVD). At the beginning and at the end of the intervention, we will study the gut microbiome profiles (metagenomics and metabolomics), and CRC biomarkers (genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, peroxidation in faecal water; lipid/glycemic indexes, inflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress), 2) Colon carcinogenesis: the same diets will be fed (3 months) to carcinogen-induced rats or to Pirc rats, mutated in Apc, the key gene in CRC; faecal microbiome profiles, will be correlated to carcinogenesis measuring preneoplastic lesions, colon tumours, and faecal and blood CRC biomarkers as in humans; 3) To further elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effect of different microbiomes in determining CRC risk, faeces from rats fed the experimental diets will be transplanted into carcinogen-induced germ-free rats, measuring how microbiome changes correlate with metabolome and disease outcomes. The results will provide fundamental insight in the role of microbiome in determining the effect of the diet, in particular red/processed meat intake, on CRC risk

Deadline 30 April 2021


Institute IBBA – Institute of agricultural biology and biotechnology

Contact Carlotta De Filippo



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