Crohn’s Diet – Treat And Prevent Crohn’s Disease With A Whole Food Plant-Based Diet
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own intestines, and over one million Americans suffer from this disorder. Modern medicine hasn’t found a cure for the disease and the use of medicine is focused on controlling the symptoms. Help is available if you think outside the box.
Diets high in animal fat and protein cause a decrease in beneficial bacteria in the intestines. The lack of beneficial bacteria in the intestines is implicated in the development of Crohn’s disease. Studies were implemented that reduced the consumption of animal fat and protein, and increased the consumption of fruits and vegetables to see what effect they would have on Crohn’s disease.
The move towards a plant-based diet showed the best results in relapse prevention of Crohn’s disease to date. The remission rate while consuming a semi-vegetarian diet was 100% in the first year and 92% in the second year, compared to a meat eating diet of 67% and 25% respectively. The results of the studies were far better than the results attained by the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
While these studies showed the ability to treat Crohn’s disease with a whole food plant-based diet, there is also great hope in preventing Crohn’s disease with the use of a plant-based diet. The understanding was diets high in animal fat and animal protein were associated with an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease, while diets high in fruits and fiber were associated with a decreased risk of Crohn’s disease.
Fiber was shown to play a crucial role in maintaining the intestinal barrier that protected the intestines against disease. In Crohn’s disease the barrier function is compromised which resulted in holes forming in the barrier lining the intestines. The breakdown of the barrier allowed bacteria to invade and attack the walls of the intestines. Once this happened the body then activated an inflammatory process to kill the bacteria, but also ended up attacking the intestinal walls.
Fiber was found to be protective in the colon because it acted as a prebiotic that fed the good bacteria, which then kept bad bacteria in check. Crohn’s disease usually starts in the small intestine though, and fiber was found to also be protective there. Soluble fiber, for instance from plantains and broccoli, had been found to inhibit the Crohn’s disease associated invasive Escherichia coli bacteria from tunneling into the intestinal walls.
While plant-based foods were found to be protective against Crohn’s disease, not only did animal fat and protein support its development, certain chemical food additives also supported the development of Crohn’s disease.
The additive polysorbate-80, found in processed foods like ice-cream, Crisco, Cool Whip, condiments, cottage cheese, and also maltodextrin found in artificial sweeteners actually helped the Escherichia coli bacteria tunnel into the intestinal wall.
Dish washing detergent had the same effect in assisting the bacteria penetrate the intestinal wall, so we should use natural plant-based detergents or throughly rinse our dishes after we wash them.
It appears the way to treat and prevent Crohn’s disease is with a Crohn’s diet that consists mainly or entirely of a plant-based diet. Eat well, be well.