Natural Diet is Key to Preventing, Reversing Crohn’s in Children, Israeli Expert Says

Natural Diet is Key to Preventing, Reversing Crohn’s in Children, Israeli Expert Says
HOLON, Israel — The children's gastroenterologist Arie Levine isn’t shy about calling himself a pioneer, at least when it comes to the origins of Crohn’s disease and how to cure it. He’s convinced that the genes kids are born with are not the reason so many of them in the developing world are getting Crohn's and other inflammatory bowel diseases, or IBDs. The real reason, he said, is all the animal fats, unmixable liquids known as emulsifiers and food additives they’re putting in their stomachs. Levine, a native of Rochester, N.Y., heads the Pediatric IBD Center at Wolfson Hospital in Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv. A member of the D-ECCO Working Group of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation, he’s seen an alarming rise in the incidence of Crohn’s. And it's not just among Ashkenazi Jews, whose well-documented genetic predisposition to Crohn’s has made it common in Israel. “Until five years ago, Crohn’s disease was perceived by the medical world as an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system attacks the intestines. All the drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies are against the immune system,” Levine told IBD News Today at his clinic at Wolfson, where he’s worked since 1999. “But in 2007, I came up with a different concept. I thought this may be a defect in the immune system’s ability to prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the intestines, which then generates an appropriate counter-attack by the immune system.” Levine said IBD now afflicts half a percent of the Western world, including 1.2 milli
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