Crohn’s Disease & the Best Available Evidence

Nutritionfacts.org is a scientific, fact-based website on nutrition. We still don’t have definitive evidence on preventing or curing Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory disease in which the body attacks the intestines. However, our best available evidence strongly supports several suggestions:
→Eating a plant-based diet that increases fiber and fruit intake and minimizes animal proteins and fats produces remission of symptoms in almost everyone with the disease. Plant fiber seems to block the invasion of harmful bacteria in the small intestine and feed good bacteria in the large intestine. A plant-based diet also decreases inflammation.

→Avoid Polysorbate 80 found predominantly in ice cream, but also found in Crisco, Cool Whip, condiments, and cottage cheese (read the labels) because it also seems to promote bad bacteria.

→Avoid maltodextrin found in artificial sweeteners like Splenda, snack foods, salad dressings, and fiber supplements because it markedly enhances the ability of the bad bacteria to attach to intestinal cells.

→Avoid ingesting traces of dishwashing detergent because it has a similar harmful effect. Rinse dishes well after washing.

We need more research on Crohn’s disease and diet, but for now we have to rely on the best available evidence. We don’t have to wait for absolutely conclusive scientific results. What we have is persuasive enough until better evidence is developed.

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