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Inflammatory Bowel Disease on Rise in US

More than 3 million U.S. adults may have inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — nearly triple the number of previous estimates, according to LiveScience. Although the disease usually afflicts younger people, researchers are finding a high prevalence of it in older adults now, the online magazine reported.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an autoimmune condition that involves inflammation in your digestive tract. IBD sufferers have severely disrupted gut biota with different dominant species than healthy people, and those with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis suffer from a breakdown in the mucosal lining of their gut. Not surprisingly, studies show that food additives may be important triggers of this unpleasant gastrointestinal disease.

Emulsifiers found in processed foods such as lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, xanthan gum, carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 are high on the list of suspect agents for causing IBD. They are additives that keep oils and fats from separating in processed foods, and which improve the texture and shelf-life of salad dressings, non-dairy milk and even veggie burgers.

Foods associated with the most severe IBD reactions include gluten, seafood, eggs, peanuts, soy, milk and nuts. Fortunately, if you have IBD, there is a way to heal it, by avoiding processed foods and other things that disrupt your gut microbiome, and implementing dietary strategies that nourish beneficial microbes.

You also can reseed your gut with probiotics and traditionally fermented and cultured foods, like kefir. Other good foods for your gut include blueberries, coconut oil, and fiber-rich foods such as organic psyllium seed husk, cruciferous vegetables and raw nuts and beans.
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