We tend to talk about heart health in functional and preventative medicine during this time of the year. And if you are familiar with my work, I often find links from poor gut health to many other conditions.
And even heart health ties with gut health in many ways. Inflammation is the root cause of the problems with both gut and heart health. Gut microbiome is related to heart health through the function of one of the gut metabolites, called trimethylamine (TMA), that forms when gut microbiome is fed on choline, a nutrient found in fish, poultry, eggs and red meat. TMA is converted to TMAO in the liver, a substance connected to artery- clogging plaque (atherosclerosis).
A study from the Journal of the American Heart Association published a study in 2017 found the connection between blood levels of TMAO and heart attacks and strokes. That’s one serious Gut – Heart connection people. And there are more and more studies that were recently highlighted.
Choose healthy for your gut and therefore for your heart. Choose lots of healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, choose lots of plant based proteins like legumes, beans, seeds and nuts and choose foods lots on anti-oxidants like blueberries.
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Diet for People with IBD.
Way too many Crohn’s and colitis patients feel it their gut, and literally speaking that the diet and nutrition play a role in their condition and flare ups. And way too many IBD patients do not receive much dietary advice. Some doctors still stay with the idea that you can and should eat anything. Patients get lost and the most they would do is avoid major trigger foods like spicy foods, vegetables, high-fiber foods, coffee, beans, and popcorn.
But in some early research on the IBD-AID (anti-inflammatory diet) is confirmed by more studies, that patients improve eating more cooked vegetables, choosing from a long list of berries, and importantly, favoring fish and wild seafood for their protein.
Creating and Customizing a diet for IBD.
The study design was a diet specifically for Crohn’s and colitis patients, used an anti-inflammatory diet, which encouraged consumption of foods with omega-3 fatty acids, especially fish and seafood. More patients had a positive response than mixed results. All of them were able to discontinue at least one of their IBD medications, and all patients needed fewer trips to the bathroom. Big win. As of now, there is no set anti-inflammatory diet used in all studies, in my program that I compiled together with over a decade of research, clinical experience and personal experience, I use an anti-inflammatory diet like this study, and I customize it for my clients.
Should you take a fish oil supplement if you have IBD (Crohn’s or Colitis)?
Taking a supplement has helped colitis patients take less medication when ill according to some studies. It may help reduce pain (Barbalho et al., 2016). But studies suggest it will not substitute for medication or prevent flares (Farrukh et al., 2014). More studies are certainly needed.
The link between IBD and fatty acids
The typical modern Western diet gives us a ratio close to 20 to 1 of omega-6 to omega-3 where we ideally need to be at least 3 to 1 ratio. That huge change is a big suspect in the rise of inflammation related diseases. As proof, epidemiologists show the spread of IBD with the introduction of the Western diet to South America, Africa, and Asia in this century (Hsieh et al., 2020).
One of the first epidemiological studies on nutrition and the rise in IBD in Asian countries came from Japan, showing that as the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio increased, AND so did colitis (Schreiner, 2020).
Linoleic acid became a major source of oils in the processed foods in the American diet beginning in the 1970s when soybean oil was on most labels. (Whelan et al., 2013).
Way larger study with more than 203,000 people, concluded that an approximately 30 percent of colitis cases could be attributed to a high intake of linoleic acid (common form of omega 6) (John et al, 2010). They also analyzed consumption of omega-3s, following more over 25 thousand people, ages between 45 and 74, who completed 7-day food diaries and were monitored for between two and eight years. Eating more omega-3s appeared to help protect volunteers from colitis (John et al., 2010).
We can draw a conclusion to eat more wild fish and consider taking a quality, tested, professional Omega 3 supplementation in Crohn’s and colitis cases.
Hsieh MS, Hsu WH, Wang JW, Wang YK, Hu HM, Chang WK, Chen CY, Wu DC, Kuo FC, Su WW. Nutritional and dietary strategy in the clinical care of inflammatory bowel disease. Schreiner P, Martinho-Grueber M, Studerus D, et al. Nutrition in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Digestion. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31927540 Published Jan. 10, 2020.
Disclaimer: The views and nutritional advice expressed by Inna Lukyanovsky, PharmD is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Purchasing a product, program or wellness consulting does not establish a pharmacist/ patient relationship with her. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Our services are not indented for acute or life-threatening situations. Consulting services we provide do not replace the advice of a licensed physician, and all clients should be working with a primary care physician. We require that you continue to work with qualified medical professionals (MD) as you engage in our materials, products and services and share the wellness recommendations with them since it doesn’t only include evidence based medicine. No information offered here should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. Some information and statements regarding products and/or services made available by Inna Lukyanovsky, PharmD at Real Health Solutions, LLC have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. If you have any allergies to food, supplement or other substance, please contact the manufacturing company directly to learn if there are allergens present as we are not responsible for that. The supplements/products and services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Real Health Solutions, LLC DBA DigestiveReset.
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