This article has been published in Advanced Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Crohn’s disease is notoriously difficult to treat and this patient was no exception. Patients are typically treated with a wide range of drugs, most of which have significant side effects, and surgery.
This is a case study of a 63-yr old male, who was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1988. Over the past thirty years, he experienced persistent pain, chronic diarrhea and chronic fatigue. Extraintestinal manifestations included aphthous stomatitis, arthralgia especially in the knees and hips, eczema and uveitis. His comorbidities included shingles, exacerbated by immunosuppression, severe post herpetic neuralgia, and noise-induced hearing loss of both ears. The patient also has benign prostatic hypertrophy and diverticulosis.
Despite the full range of treatment, the patient remained with very significant symptoms, medication side effects and poor quality of life.
In May 2017, the patient chose to go on a plant-based diet. Within two months, significant improvements in symptoms resulted. After three months, the patient was able to discontinue all immunosuppressant drugs. After one year, the patient reports no symptoms requiring medications other than ranitidine 150mg 2x/day and loperamide 10mg/day needed for post op management of resections. Fatigue, pain, diarrhea and all extraintestinal manifestations have virtually been eliminated. The patient reports a very large improvement in quality of life. Continue reading
This article is also available in printable pdf form: Colon Cancer Prevention with a Plant-Based Diet
I. Executive Summary
It has long been known that vegetarians have a substantially reduced risk of colon cancer. Several studies have shown that vegetarians have a reduced risk of colon cancer of 46%-88%, and, as might be expected, a 54% reduced risk of colon adenoma, plus a 200% reduced risk of advanced adenoma. Vegetarians also have a lower prevalence of risk factors for colon cancer. These include a much lower risk of hyperinsulinemia secondary to metabolic syndrome, lower risk of obesity, and a much lower risk of Crohn’s disease. Vegetarians also have lower levels of CRP (cardio reactive protein) indicating a lower inflammatory status. This has also been correlated with a better prognosis for colon cancer.
We are delighted to announce that this article was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Advanced Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Feb 16, 2018.
Here is the pdf of the published article
Epidemiologic studies show that IBD is prevalent in wealthy nations where dietary westernization usually occurs. Dietary westernization is characterized by increased consumption of animal protein, animal fat, and sugar. An epidemiological study found that the risk of Crohn’s disease reduced by 70% in females and 80% in males following a vegetarian diet.
Treatment with medications, though efficacious to a degree, all have significant adverse reactions. Many of these medications will also be contraindicated in a significant number of patients.
Treatment is aimed at inducing remission. A semi-vegetarian diet has been shown to achieve a 100% remission rate at 1 year and 92% at 2 years. Plant-based diets are rich in phytochemicals that help reduce inflammation by modifying several inflammatory mechanisms.
A study of treatment with infliximab and a plant-based diet showed a remission rate of 96%, substantial reduction in CRP and CDAI and improvements in mucosa healing. This study shows that combining infliximab with a plant-based diet results in a strong clinical response.
Plant-based diets promote a more favorable gut microbial profile that is anti-inflammatory. Naturally occurring substances in plant foods, having anti-inflammatory bowel actions include phytochemicals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and lipids. Many of these natural products exert their beneficial action by altering cytokine production.
The plant-based diet has no adverse reactions or contra-indications and is affordable, so physicians can initiate therapy with a plant-based diet immediately, and prescribe it as a prophylaxis for all patients at risk of Crohn’s disease. Continue reading
The prevalence of cholelithiasis is about 10 percent to 15 percent of the population of the U.S., or well over 25 million people. Nearly 1 million new cases of gallstone disease are diagnosed every year and approximately one quarter of these require treatment. The burden of cholelithiasis and its complications, such as cholecystitis, pancreatitis, and cholangitis, are major public health problems. A 2006 study reported that more than 700,000 cholecystectomies were performed in the United States at a cost of $6.5 billion dollars annually.[i]
Most patients are asymptomatic, but approximately 20% become symptomatic after 10 years of follow up.[ii] A study of both symptomatic and asymptomatic sonographically-confirmed cholelithiasis cases, found that the prevalence of gallstones was 1.9 time higher in non-vegetarians than in vegetarians.[iii]
There has been increasing interest in the role played by the gastrointestinal flora in the etiology of a variety disease processes. It had been known that long term changes in diet influenced the human gut microbiome. Recent research has focused on how the flora of those following a vegetarian diet differ from those on other diets, and what advantages that may convey.
By age 60, two-thirds of all Americans will have developed diverticulosis.[i] Twenty-five percent of patients with diverticulosis will go on to develop acute diverticulitis. This imposes a significant burden on healthcare systems, resulting in greater than 300,000 admissions per year with an estimated annual cost of $3 billion.[ii]
Back in 1979, a research article in the British journal, the Lancet, reported that the prevalence of diverticular disease in vegetarians was almost one third that of meat eaters. It was noted in this study that vegetarians had a mean intake of fiber of 42gm/day vs. 21 gm/day for meat eaters.[iii]