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Low-Carb Diet Best For Crohn's Disease, New Zealand Gastroenterologist Finds

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:30pm 1 Comment

New study by Dr. Richard Gearry shows new benefit for low-carb living

Although all you ever hear in most media accounts of low-carb diets, especially the Atkins diet, are negative and demeaning comments, the fact is this healthy dietary approach has been showing some truly remarkable health benefits in the research laboratory this year. We've seen that low-carb helps burn more body fat, is effective for treating teenage obesity, has been shown to be a reasonable alternative to a low-fat diet, beats out all other diets for weight loss and health success, and so much more!

Now we have another health benefit from livin' la vida low-carb: improves inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), aka Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Although we saw widespread reporting about this study that alleges the Atkins diet increases the risk of bowel cancer earlier this year, the latest research from New Zealand shows low-carb living IMPROVES bowel health.

Lead researcher Dr. Richard Gearry, MBChB, PhD, a consultant gastroenterologist from the New Zealand-based Christchurch Hospital and a senior lecturer at Otago University's Christchurch School of Medicine, and his researchers observed 100 patients with IBD over a six- to eight-week period and noticed that a low-carb diet helped ease the pain associated with this condition in over half of them.

The study participants were treated at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, Australia and Dr. Gearry decided to feed them foods that would not cause inflammation in the abdomen and bowel. Interestingly, the foods that DO cause problems with IBD sufferers have a certain macronutrient composition that is well-known to most medical professional.

"Doctors have known for a long time that patients know what affects their condition and causes symptoms," Dr. Gearry noted. "Dietitians and doctors and scientists looked at this more closely and identified a number of foods that can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea."

Wanna see a few of these culprit foods that make IBD worse? Check out this list: wheat, onions, milk, ice cream, apples, honey, legumes, and other fruits. Hmmm, do you see what all of these foods have in common? They're high-carb!

"Often they are sugars and carbohydrates that are not absorbed when they pass through the bowel and when they get into the colon they can ferment and produce gas and pain," Dr. Gearry explained.

So, it's no surprise why livin' la vida low-carb worked so well for these patients with IBD. It's healthy for them and keeps their symptoms at bay. Best of all, the low-carb lifestyle was so simple and pleasurable enough to the study participants that they WANTED to be on it.

"Most patients found that the diet was easy to implement and that the taste was acceptable, which is very important if people are to follow this diet," Dr. Gearry added.

The findings of this study were presented at the recent Australian Gastroenterology Week conference in Perth and will also be presented next week at the Annual Scientific meeting of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Gearry is hopeful his findings on the low-carb diet for Crohn's disease is embraced worldwide as a viable treatment option for this and other bowel conditions.

Have you seen anything else in the media about THIS study like you did that ridiculous blood vessel study last week, hmmmm? Not likely!

You can e-mail Dr. Richard Gearry regarding his fabulous research at richard.gearry@cdhb.govt.nz.

Labels: Atkins, Australia, bowel, gastroenterologist, health, low-carb, New Zealand, research, Richard Gearry, study

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