Study Links Mediterranean Diet to Lower Risk of Late-onset Crohn’s Disease

Study Links Mediterranean Diet to Lower Risk of Late-onset Crohn’s Disease
Adhering to a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of developing Crohn’s disease in middle age, a large Swedish study reports.  The study, “Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of later-onset Crohn’s disease: results from two large prospective cohort studies,” was published in the journal Gut. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is caused partially by a deregulated immune response, with the human microbiome playing a role. In many cases, there are alterations in the in the natural community of microbes that populate our gut, leading to disease. Dietary interventions in IBD are of interest because they can help ease symptoms without the risks associated with some medications. Examples of diets include exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN), a dietary intervention in which patients receive a liquid diet of formula, either orally or via nasogastric tube, and the Crohn's disease exclusion diet (CDED), which combines partial EN with a strict exclusion diet that avoids foods that may have negative effects on the gut microbiome. "Nevertheless, prior epidemiologic studies of the relationship between diet and IBD have yielded very few plausible causal relationships," the authors wrote. "The majority of these studies have focused on individual food groups and nutrients," they stated, adding that studies focusing on overall diet patterns and the risk of IBD can yield more complex and reality-based conclusions. In this study, researchers in the U.S. and Sweden investigated the link between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), the two main forms of IBD. Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains, polyunsaturated fats (e.g., nuts, seeds, fish, seed o
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