Shift from a mixed diet to a lactovegetarian diet: influence on some cancer-associated intestinal bacterial enzyme activities.


Johansson GK and Ottova L and Gustafsson JA

Year Published: 



Nutrition and cancer


Study Design: 


This investigation studied the effects of a shift from a mixed diet to a lactovegetarian diet on some cancer-associated bacterial enzymes in human feces (beta-glucuronidase, beta-glucosidase, and sulphatase). Three months after the shift to the lactovegetarian diet, there was a significant decrease in beta-glucuronidase, beta-glucosidase, and sulphatase activities per gram feces wet weight (p less than 0.05, less than 0.05, and less than 0.001, respectively). In contrast, glucuronide and glucoside hydrolysis remained unchanged per gram dry weight, although sulphatase activity was still significantly lowered when expressed this way (p less than 0.01). However, the fecal excretion increased significantly (p less than 0.05). Part of the explanation for the decreased enzyme activities is obviously a dilution effect, because much of the increased fecal weight after the shift in diet was associated with a higher water content. The higher water content was probably due to a higher fiber intake (p less than 0.001). Thus, the results in this paper indicate that a change from a mixed diet to a lactovegetarian diet leads to a decrease in certain enzyme activities proposed to be risk factors for colon cancer.