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.