At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
Approximately 2 million people worldwide live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and as many as 70,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year. But it wasn’t always like this. IBD was once a very rare diagnosis.
The Rise of IBD in Western Cultures
Two decades ago, researchers started to notice a trend: IBD diagnosis in children and adults in Western Europe and North America was on the rise. At the time it wasn’t fully understood why this was happening. Fast forward to today and there’s still no consensus on the cause of IBD. Some scientists believe it’s the result of an immune system response that gets abnormally triggered. Others point to the environment, genetics and smoking as possible culprits, but one aspect of our Western lifestyle that has undeniably kept pace with the rise of IBD is the rise of processed foods in our diets.
The Food Connection
Over the last 20 years fructose intake has increased by more than 20%, and the intake of salty snacks, pizza, cereals and sweetened beverages has increased by nearly 50%. A strong case can be made that food plays a leading role in the rise of IBD.
However, food is also thought to be part of the solution. Patient nutrition plays a vital role in reducing IBD symptoms, but unlike medications, there are no side effects with food.
Historically, nutrition has not been viewed as a primary treatment tool for IBD. It has always been more suggestion than a direction. Yet recent studies show that for some patients, clinical nutrition regimens can be used as a primary treatment tool to induce or maintain remission from IBD. Nutrition plans like the low-FODMAP diet show a lot of promise.
Although food might have initially been the foe, its proper use might make it a friend for controlling symptoms of IBD.
Source: Diet therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases: The established and the new https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734995/