Crohn’s Disease – a case report

Stomach painThis article has been published in Advanced Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Abstract

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

Ensuring adequate iron status in vegetarians and vegans

Drawing bloodAbstract

Many people, including some physicians, are concerned about iron deficiency anemia in patients consuming a plant-based diet. However, studies show that the risk of anemia in vegetarian and vegan patients is no greater than in omnivorous patients.

Plant foods contain only non-heme iron, whereas meat contains both the heme and non-heme iron. There used to be a concern that non-heme iron would be poorly absorbed resulting in iron deficiency anemia. However, non-heme is well absorbed in most vegetarian patients and vegan because other plant foods, containing substances such as vitamin C and citric acid, can greatly enhance its absorption. Furthermore, non-heme iron absorption increases whenever iron stores are low.

Adequate iron levels can easily be maintained in the vegan patient with a little planning. Consuming foods high in iron along with foods that enhance non-heme iron absorption, will prevent iron deficiency anemia in vegan and vegetarian patients. Because both groups of foods are widely available, this should not be difficult to accomplish.

Patients that are already anemic can be treated by increasing their consumption of iron rich and iron enhancing foods. Supplements are sometimes required. In these cases, iron supplements can be prescribed in the same manner as with omnivorous patients. Continue reading

Heart Disease – Prevention and Treatment with a Plant-Based Diet

heart attack patientThis article was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Therapy in December 2018.

Abstract

Epidemiological studies show that vegetarians have a much lower risk of myocardial infarction. Reductions of risk factors and comorbidities such as angina, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity have also been shown.

A low-fat plant-based diet can reverse or prevent further progression of coronary atheroma, improve endothelial dysfunction and is effective even in cases of severe stenosis. Studies show that in addition to regression, there is a remolding of the geometry of the stenosis with consequent improvement in coronary flow reserve.

Those following a plant-based diet have much lower total cholesterol and LDL. They also have lower levels of cardio-reactive protein, apolipoprotein (a) and apolipoprotein (b), plus levels of MPO, MMP-9, MMP-2 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios. In addition, studies have determined that vegans produce less TMAO than their omnivorous counterparts after dietary challenge.

Long term exposure to persistent organic pollutants can drastically affect the circulatory system. The consumption of animal products is the greatest source of exposure of these toxins, due to bioaccumulation of these lipophilic toxins in animal tissues.

Interventional studies confirm that a plant-based diet is as effective in lowering cholesterol as statin drugs. Interventional studies show that a plant-based diet can help treat heart failure and is very efficacious in treating angina pectoris. Vegetarians also show better improvements in cardiac rehab.  Follow-up studies at one and four years confirm continued benefit to the patient, and patient compliance has been demonstrated over several years. Treatment with a plant-based diet is devoid of side effects and contraindications. Continue reading

Chronic Kidney Disease – A plant-based diet prevents and treats CKD

KidneysThis article has been published in JOJ Urology and Nephrology

Abstract

Interest in the dietary treatment of chronic kidney disease has been growing as its incidence has been increasing. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is now the 8th leading cause of death in the United States and its treatment consumes substantial amounts of medical resources and money.

Several lines of epidemiological research have shown a lower risk of chronic kidney disease among vegetarians. It also shows a substantially increased risk among omnivores, especially those who eat red and processed meats.

Although the practice started long ago, research on the use of a low-protein plant-based diet to treat chronic kidney disease diet has intensified in recent years. This research has shown that a low-protein vegetarian diet is safe and efficacious at both treating and slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Treatment with a low-protein vegetarian diet, often supplemented with keto analogues, has been shown to reduce acidosis, phosphotemia, uremia, proteinuria and to slow progression. Research shows that this treatment does not result in malnutrition. Research has also shown that larger amounts of plant protein than animal protein can be consumed, without deleterious effects.

Treatment with a low protein vegetarian diet also has the advantage of preventing and treating common comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

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The Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with a Plant-Based Diet – published

We are delighted to announce that our comprehensive review article on the prevention and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with a Plant-Based Diet was recently published in the peer-reviewed Endocrinology and Metabolism International Journal.

Here’s the published article as a pdf.

Review Article

The Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with a Plant-Based Diet

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Open Letter to Editor, JACC

Open Letter To the Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American College of Cardiology

October 27, 2017

 

Dear Dr. Fuster,

In your recent update to the Expert Consensus Decision Pathway, (1) no specific mention was made of a safe and efficacious non-statin therapy, the plant-based diet.

Vegetarian and vegan diets can be very efficacious in reducing serum cholesterol and, importantly, LDL. Studies have shown that those following a plant-based diet have significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL levels. (2)
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Published in Endocrine Practice

This is a letter we just had to write. We sent a fully documented Letter to Editor of Endocrine Practice Journal, concerning a published algorithm for the treatment of Type II Diabetes. We were delighted that our letter was published – see Published Letter to Endocrine Practice – in their June 2017 issue, along with a Response from authors of the algorithm.

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