Epidemiologic studies throughout the world have uniformly demonstrated significant relationships between the intake of dietary micronutrients and gastric cancer risk. An exciting concept that has recently gained considerable traction is that micronutrients modulate gene expression within Helicobacter pylori, the strongest identified risk factor for gastric carcinogenesis. We present evidence here that essential micronutrients have a direct effect on H. pylori virulence, which subsequently affects interactions at the host-pathogen interface, thereby facilitating the development of premalignant and malignant lesions in the stomach. Further, these fundamental concepts provide a framework for understanding mechanisms driving the development of other malignancies that arise from foci of gastrointestinal inflammation.
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