Vitality

Vegetarian Diet Causes Crohn’s Disease Remission

In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that at least 565,000 Americans suffered from Crohn’s disease. This inflammatory bowel disorder has been known for leading to hospitalization and in some cases, surgery. 

Over the past years, the medical community has been facing challenges to fully understand the risk factors for Crohn’s disease. Without proper guidance on how to avoid the condition, CDC said an effective public health prevention program is unlikely possible. 

But a new study, published in the journal Nutrients, is offering a potential way to reduce the risk of having the disorder. Researchers suggest that following a plant-based diet could help treat Crohn's disease.

The findings come from the analysis of the health of a man in his late 20s who had the disorder. Prior to the study, the patent reported fatigue, bloating, episodic severe abdominal pain, nausea and occasional ulcers for several years until he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

For the study, the researchers asked the man to stop eating meat and to remove all animal-based products and processed food from his diet for 40 days. After completing the suggested routine, the man reported total absence of symptoms of Crohn's disease.

His new diet included fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Researchers said through the plant-based diet the patient saw a complete remission of the bowel disorder. 

Medical tests showed he had complete mucosal healing. The man decided to continue the diet after the study and was later on allowed to stop taking medications.

"This case study offers hope for hundreds of thousands of people suffering from the painful symptoms associated with Crohn's disease," Hana Kahleova, study co-author and director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said. 

Plant-based diets commonly provide high amounts of fiber, which promotes overall gut health, according to the study. Fiber also supports functions of healthy bacteria in the body, which then fights the developments of Crohn's disease and other digestive problems. 

"This case study supports the idea that food really is medicine," Kahleova said. "Not only does it show that eating a high-fiber, plant-based diet could help lead to Crohn's disease remission, but all the 'side effects' are good ones, including a reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer."

Vegetable Diet A plant-based diet has been found potentially effective to help treat Crohn’s disease. Pixabay

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