(John Anderer) How does the old saying go? “100 million bacteria a day will keep the doctor away?” Sounds about right. A new study reveals that a typical 240g apple contains around 100 million bacteria, mostly in the seeds and skin. While that may sound a bit off-putting at first, researchers say that when it comes to gut health, the more bacteria the better.
(Sayer Ji) Biological Science has been under the spell of Newton’s atomistic view of the universe since the late 17th century. Yet revolutionary new discoveries in molecular biology reveal a connectivity and proportionality embedded within our bodies and the biosphere as a whole reminiscent of ideas once held by visionaries like Leonardo da Vinci.
(Anna Hunt) It is becoming widely known that gut bacteria influence much more than our digestive process. The bacteria living in the digestive system impact our general health. Furthermore, scientists are now discovering that this influence goes beyond physical health. A study out of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) discovered evidence that gut microbes affect our emotions. Specifically, they impact how we respond to fear. Read more »
For the study, researchers in the U.S. tracked the health of over 120,000 nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 who took part in the Nurses Health Study that launched in 1976. The team found that between 2004 and 2010, 1,194 nurses were diagnosed with abnormal growths in the colon and rectum.
Participants who had taken antibiotics for two months or more between the ages of 20 and 39 were 36% more likely to be diagnosed with a polyp, called an adenoma, compared with those who hadn’t taken a prolonged course of antibiotics during their 20s and 30s.
Women who had taken antibiotics for two months or more during their 40’s or 50’s were 69% more likely to be diagnosed with a polyp.
Similarly, women who took antibiotics for 15 days or more between ages 20 and 39, and between ages 40 and 59, were 73% more likely to be diagnosed with an adenoma.
Associate Professor Graham Newstead, the head of the colorectal unit at the Prince of Wales private hospital and director of Bowel Cancer Australia, said:
“It does seem to indicate that people who have too many antibiotics might be at more risk of [sic] getting polyps than people who have less of them.
And, remembering that not all polyps turn to cancer but the cancer comes from the polyps. If you have more polyps or tendency to get polyps then maybe you are slightly more at risk of getting cancer.” 
The researchers wrote in the report:
“Antibiotics fundamentally alter the gut microbiome, by curbing the diversity and number of bacteria, and reducing the resistance to hostile bugs.
This might all have a crucial role in the development of bowel cancer, added to which the bugs that require antibiotics may induce inflammation, which is a known risk for the development of bowel cancer.
The findings if confirmed by other studies, suggest the potential need to limit the use of antibiotics and sources of inflammation that may drive tumor formation.” 
Other Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
Dr. Andrew Chan, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the study doesn’t prove that antibiotics cause polyps, only that there is a connection. 
And while the study looked at women, Chan said the study likely also holds true for men.
“More research needs to be done to understand the interaction between alterations in one’s gut bacteria and future risk of colorectal cancer.” 
There are several known risk factors for bowel cancer besides polyps, including:
Being overweight or obese
Not getting enough physical activity
Diets that are high in red meat and processed meats
Cooking meats at very high temperatures (frying, boiling, or grilling)
Heavy alcohol use
Being age 50 or older
A personal history of colorectal cancer
A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
Certain inherited syndromes
Being African-American or a Jew of Eastern European descent
Having type 2 diabetes 
There is even some research that suggests that working a night shift regularly may increase your risk for colorectal cancer, possibly due to changes in levels of melatonin.
(Sayer Ji) Two studies published in the past six months reveal a disturbing finding: glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup® appear to suppress the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, leading to the overgrowth of extremely pathogenic bacteria. Read more »