Archive for the ‘Gastrointestinal’ Category

Sugar, gallstones

July 26, 2009

Refined sugar has been shown to increase the risk of gallstone formation, particularly in young persons, even in those who are not overweight. The mechanism is not yet understood, but a high sugar intake may stimulate insulin production. Insulin stimulates the synthesis of cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol in the bile may encourage gallstone production. (British Medical Journal 288:1103-1104, April 14, 1984)
Copyright 1984 Phylis A Austin


Gluten, schizophrenia

July 26, 2009

Numerous studies have suggested a relationship between gluten intake and schizophrenia. Two Texas physicians report that a man placed on a gluten-free diet to treat his celiac disease showed marked improvement in his mental symptoms. (Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News 38(4)9, April 1987)
Copyright 1987 Phylis Austin

Crohn’s disease, diet, smoking

July 3, 2009

British researchers have discovered a link between the use of refined sugar, smoking, and Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease patients demonstrate a high intake of refined sugar and a low intake of fiber from fruits. Smoking also appears to increase the risk of Crohn’s disease. (British Medical Journal 290:1786-1787, June 15, 1985)
Copyright 1985 Phylis Austin

Artichoke leaf for irritable bowel syndrome

August 10, 2008

One or two capsules of a standardized extract of artichoke leaves improved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a study of over 200 volunteers. Alternating constipation/diarrhea decreased, and subjects in the study who also reported dyspepsia reported improvement in those symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder with an incidence of 15% estimated in the North American population. Symptoms include abdominal pain and alternating constipation and diarrhea, but no pathology is apparent on examination. Abdominal pain is typically relieved after the bowel is emptied. There may be mucus in the stools, abdominal distention, discomfort in the upper abdomen after meals, and urgency to use the toilet. Some women report an increase in symptoms around the menstrual period. It occurs most commonly in the late 20’s, with females afflicted approximately twice as often as males. The cause is not clearly understood.

Careful diet may improve symptoms. Slowly increasing the fiber intake, avoiding large or fatty meals, and a lactose-free diet may all be helpful. Caffeine often exacerbates symptoms.

There are two subcatagories — constipation predominant symptoms and diarrhea predominant symptoms. Both subtypes benefit from increased dietary fiber or fiber supplements.

Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) given as a commercial product (Cynara (TM)) was taken daily for two months in this study. There were no significant differences in the group given one or two tablets per dose.

(Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10(4)667-669, 2004

Rheumatoid arthritis and milk allergy

July 4, 2008

An association between adult rheumatoid arthritis and milk allergy has previously been reported, but now researchers in Israel have demonstrated that milk allergy may induce juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. They state that commonly used allergy tests are unreliable in the diagnosis of milk allergy and suggest that a strict cows’ milk protein-free diet may be beneficial to those with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 78:410-413, May, 1985) Another study has demonstrated rheumatoid-like lesions in laboratory animals given cows’ milk for 12 weeks. (International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology 78:145-151, 1985) Copyright 1985 Phylis Austin

Food allergy and infant colitis

July 4, 2008

Inflammation of the colon in infants is most frequently due to food allergy. Colitis may appear soon after foods other than breast milk are introduced. Cow’s milk is the most frequent offender, but soy and beef should be suspect. (Archives of Disease in Childhood 59(4)326-329, 1984) Copyright 1984 Phylis Austin

Gastrointestinal bleeding in infants and cow’s milk

July 4, 2008

Fifty-percent of a group of infants studied for iron-deficiency anemia demonstrated gastrointestinal bleeding due to the ingestion of whole cow’s milk. These babies showed an abnormal decrease in the amount of protein and copper in the blood. Their fecal blood loss was 1.7 ml per day, compared to 3.1 ml per day on a soya milk substitute. Increasing the amount of cow’s milk the babies consumed increased the fecal blood loss. (Journal of Pediatrics 84:335, March 1974) Copyright 1984 Phylis Austin