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The study finds a direct link between natural sweetener and intestinal inflammation

If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, there is a good chance that following a modern Western diet is greatly worsening the situation. The latest study on this topic comes from Stony Brook University, which found that consuming fructose can cause intestinal inflammation to worsen. Fructose, of course, is commonly used as a sweetening agent, particularly in the United States, a practice that has been heavily criticized for years from a public health perspective.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases involving frequent or chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease is perhaps the best known of IBDs due to its particularly debilitating nature. Both genetics and one̵

7;s own immune system may play a role in the development of IBD, but a growing number of studies have found that the modern Western diet could fuel the condition.

Fructose, a natural sweetener sometimes also referred to as “fruit sugar,” is often used in place of brown sugar and refined sugar in processed foods. High fructose corn syrup, for example, is commonly used in the United States and is found in a wide variety of products, making it difficult to avoid unless you cook your own foods from scratch. This substance has been linked to a number of potential health problems, the most recent of which is a worsening of intestinal inflammation.

The recently published study involved three mouse models for studying IBD, including one fed large amounts of fructose. In that group, researchers report that colon inflammation has worsened and that numerous changes have occurred in intestinal bacteria located in the colon, including those involving metabolism and type. Changes in gut bacteria have been coincidentally linked to worsening symptoms in the IBD group.

The findings suggest that IBD sufferers should consider eliminating – or drastically reducing – the amount of fructose in their diet. More research is needed to determine whether such a change in diet in the early stages of the disease can help protect against colon cancer, as those with IBD face a higher risk of cancer as a result.

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