The disease, IBD better known as Irritable Bowel Disease is making a lot of people sit back and take notice. Usually, considered as the next stage of irritable bowel syndrome, this disease is one of the leading lifestyle-related disorders today. It can be delegated to western food habits. Most so-called processed and ultra-processed foods are causing the GI tract to collapse. The Gastrointestinal tract is very important and responsible for saving the body against various attacks. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is rampant in developed nations.
International Study Links Processed Foods With IBD
However, cases in the developing ones are also rising. It is due to more income in the form of outsourced jobs from developed nations. Moreover, the online food sector is booming. Thus, many developing nations are also receiving a steady supply of these foods. Gastroenterologists are of the opinion that, such foods are the primary reason behind IBS and IBD.
IBD Or Irritable Bowel Disease Decoded
In general, IBD or Irritable Bowel Disease precedes IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. It is a group of diseases, that cause inflammation of the GI tract. The diseases Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are also in this category. About, 3 million people in the US alone, suffer from IBD. Some quarters have connected the genes to such diseases. However, a majority of it can be attributed to bad eating habits and lifestyle factors. It is seen, that as societies gain more income, it forgets the traditional agricultural activities and food habits. People turn to easier means to gain food. The ultra-processed food variety is largely to blame.
The NOVA food classification system categorizes food into four main classes, unprocessed food, processed ingredients in foods, processed foods, and ultra-processed foods. Most mass-processed foods are treated as ultra-processed foods. These are foods containing emulsifiers, preservatives, added additives like sweeteners. Flavors and trans fats are also on the list. Very recently, one of the leading authors and epidemiologists from the UK, Dr. Spector asserted that the population of the U.S. eats more processed and ultra-processed foods than any other country in the world. At least 60 percent of caloric intake consists of such food.
Measuring The Link Between Food and IBD
Very recently, Dr. Narula from the McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada led a study on the link between ultra-processed food and IBD. More than 116,000 adults underwent the study or survey. The age group under consideration was 35-70. The participants of the study included people from lower-income groups, middle-income groups, upper-middle-income groups, and the wealthy. The participants were made to complete a food consumption questionnaire. The participants reported consumption of packaged, formulated foods and beverages. Such food contains food additives, artificial flavorings, colors, and other chemical ingredients. The study covered data across three years.
The outcome of the study revealed Irritable Bowel Disease or IBD. Doctors advise patients with IBS and IBD to follow the Low FODMAP food index. The risk of IBD is associated with the consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods, studies revealed. There is a certain limitation that governs such studies. Moreover, these questionnaires cannot predict absolute intake. They show relative intake. The researchers are uncertain, whether or not to apply the same principles to children and young adults. Dr. Narula and his team are hopeful, that further research work will confirm the absolute implications.
Moreover, the low-quality food disturbs the gut microbes. It also tends to weaken the immune system. This leads to inflammation that may spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, doctors from all over the world are trying to dissuade people from depending on packaged and ultra-processed foods for a large part of their diet. Further research is underway.
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