Potential Role of Navy Beans in Preventing Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, and although it’s highly treatable, it doesn’t always show symptoms at an early stage. However, researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has discovered navy beans could improve the gut microbiome of colorectal cancer survivors and could aid in cancer prevention and treatment.

This article examines this scientific research and the effectiveness of navy beans in treating colon cancer.

Why Choose Navy Beans?

While other dry beans, lentils, and peas have nutritional profiles likely to stimulate the gut microbiome, the study’s author said she was inspired by promising findings in early preclinical or mouse model studies specifically testing the effects of navy beans on the combination of inflammation, obesity, and colorectal cancer.

She also said the study showed that participants with the largest increase in bean consumption had a lower risk of advanced colorectal adenoma recurrence, a precancerous polyp that is likely to progress to colon cancer if not spotted during colonoscopy and completely removed.

How Gut Health is Connected to Colorectal Cancer

The researcher said it’s important for colorectal cancer survivors to have a balanced gut microbiome as it directly interacts with the colon epithelium where colorectal cancer develops. They also said this “cross-talk” between human cells and microbes is tightly connected to the immune system and can either prevent or boost inflammation or cancer development and progression.

A July 2023 study also suggests that the gut microbiome could be a target for microbial therapeutics against colorectal cancer. Furthermore, an older June 2020 study discovered that personalized modulation of a person’s gut microbiome through diet could prevent colorectal cancer development and progression and boost the effectiveness of antitumoral therapy.

Is This Study Relevant?

Researchers believe this study was extremely important since every individual has 2 to 3 trillion bacteria in their body, and there is substantial evidence that those bacteria play a crucial role in preventing both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

They also said it would be extremely vital if good bacteria could be stimulated to affect the immune system to prevent cancer or cancer recurrence through diet.

Furthermore, physicians need to discuss gut health with their colorectal cancer patients, given the enormous amount of new information concerning the bacteria and how it is affected by diet.


New research has shown that navy beans could improve the gut microbiome of colorectal cancer patients. This also provides further insight into cancer prevention and can boost treatment measures for this condition.