If you suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, eating a modern Western diet is likely to make it significantly worse. The latest study on this topic comes from Stony Brook University, which found that eating fructose can worsen intestinal inflammation. Fructose, of course, is often used as a sweetener, especially in the United States, a practice that has been heavily criticized in terms of public health for years.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term for various diseases that involve frequent or chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease is perhaps best known for IBD due to its particularly debilitating nature. Both genetics and the immune system may play a role in the development of IBD, but more and more research is showing that the modern Western diet can nourish the condition.
Fructose, a natural sweetener, sometimes called “fruit sugar”
A recently published study included three models of mice for the IBD study, including one feeding large amounts of fructose. In this group, the researchers reported that inflammation of the colon had worsened and that a number of changes had occurred in the intestinal bacteria located in the colon, including those involving metabolism and type. The changes in the intestinal bacteria are accidentally associated with worsening symptoms in the IBD group.
The findings suggest that IBD sufferers should consider eliminating – or drastically reducing, the amount of fructose in their diet. Further research is needed to determine whether such a diet at the beginning of the disease can help protect against colon cancer, as those who suffer from IBD face a higher risk of cancer as a result.