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Preventing Crohn’s Disease With Diet

August 20, 2019


“Preventing Crohn’s Disease With Diet” Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder
that affects more than a million Americans, an inflammatory bowel disease in which
your body attacks your own intestines. There is currently no known cure for Crohn’s disease and current research focuses on just controlling symptoms. There is no definitive
medical or surgical therapy. In fact, the best we have is
a more plant-based diet, which has afforded the best result
in relapse prevention to date. They got the idea to try it because diets
rich in animal protein and animal fat have been found to cause a decrease in
beneficial bacteria in the intestine. And so they designed this semivegetarian
diet to counter that, and 100% stayed in remission the
first year and 92% the second year. These results are far better than
those obtained by current drugs, including these new so-called biological
agents that can cost $40,000 a year, and cause side effects like progressive multifocal
leukoencephalopathy, a disabling and deadly brain disease, whereas the diet doesn’t cost $40k and
the worst that can happen is maybe
get greens stuck in your teeth or something. And diet appears to work better. But what about preventing Crohn’s
disease in the first place? Well, a systematic review of the scientific
literature on dietary intake and the risk
of developing inflammatory bowel disease found that high intakes of fats and meat
was associated with an increased risk of
Crohn’s disease, as well as ulcerative colitis, whereas high fiber and fruit intakes were
associated with decreased risk of Crohn’s. This was supported more recently
by the Harvard Nurses Health Study. Three million person years of data revealed
that long-term intake of dietary fiber, particularly from fruit, was associated
with lower risk of Crohn’s disease. Women who fell into in the highest long-term
fiber consumption group had a 40% reduced risk, leading the accompanying editorial to conclude
that advocating for a high-fiber diet may ultimately reduce the
incidence of Crohn’s disease. The irony is that the highest fiber group
wasn’t even reaching the official recommended
daily minimum of fiber intake, but even just being less fiber deficient
has a wide range of benefits, including, evidently, a significant reduction
in risk of developing Crohn’s disease. But why? The authors suggest it’s because fiber appears
to play a vital role in the maintenance
of our intestinal barrier function. Our skin keeps the outside world out,
and so does the lining of our gut, but in Crohn’s disease this
barrier function is impaired. You can see it under
an electron microscope: the tight junctions between the intestinal
cells have all sorts of little holes and breaks. The thought is that the increase in prevalence
of inflammatory bowel diseases may be that dietary changes lead to the
breakdown of our intestinal barrier, potentially allowing the penetration
of bacteria into our gut wall, which our body then attacks,
triggering the inflammation. We know fiber acts as a prebiotic in our colon,
the large intestine, feeding our good bacteria, but what does fiber do in our small
intestine, where Crohn’s often starts? We didn’t know, until this
landmark study was published. They wanted to find out what could stop
this Crohn’s associated invasive bacteria
from tunneling into the gut wall. They found that the invasion is inhibited by
the presence of certain soluble plant fibers, such as from plantains and broccoli at the kinds of
concentrations one might expect from just eating them. They wonder if that may explain why
plantain-loving populations have lower
levels of inflammatory bowel disease. They also found that there was something
found in processed foods that
facilitated the invasion of the bacteria. Polysorbate 80, found
predominantly in ice cream, but also found in Crisco, Cool Whip,
condiments, cottage cheese— you just have to read the labels. What about maltodextrin? Found
in artificial sweeteners like Splenda, snack foods, salad
dressings, and fiber supplements. Maltodextrin markedly enhanced the ability
of the bacteria to glom onto our intestinal cells, though other additives, carboxy-methyl cellulose
and xanthan gum appeared to have no adverse effects. This may all help solve the mystery
of why the increasing prevalence of
Crohn’s disease in developed nations where we’re eating less fiber-containing
whole plant foods and more processed foods. What we need now are interventional studies
to see if boosting fiber intake and avoiding these food additives can be effective
in preventing and treating Crohn’s disease. But until then what do we tell people? Well, the available evidence points to a diet low in animal fat, with lots of soluble fiber containing plant foods, and avoiding processed fatty foods
that contain these emulsifiers, as well as making sure we’re not ingesting
traces of dish washing detergent, which can have the same effect,
by just rinsing dishes well. They found that some people wash dishes
and then just leave them out to dry without
rinsing, which is probably not a good idea. Now, do we have studies that show that avoiding
polysorbate 80 and rinsing dishes well actually helps? No. Nevertheless, advice based on ‘best available
evidence’ is better than no advice at all.

52 Comments

  • Reply CORRIGEEN71 December 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Great presentation as usual please keep doing these videos , to create an online library of fact thank you

  • Reply Ponas Lukas December 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    awesome as always

  • Reply SolPhoebusApollo December 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Priceless. I especially like the tips based on "best available evidence" and the food additives connection, the current treatments for Crohn's are so barbaric, advice like this is a welcome change.

  • Reply Natural Remedies Coach December 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    well this is just one more reason to eat more fruits and vegetables. 

  • Reply Rosannasfriend December 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Lmao, there was a ridiculous youtuber a few days back who said a diet lacking in animal fats and animal protein is what leads to crohn 's disease . I know that's not true , even Mcdougall lays it all out in detail , but she says she's a med student and calls putting your kids on a raw diet child abuse , lol. Doctors study very little nutrition, and don't bother studying about the vegan diet unless they're like Mcdougall who made learning the starch based solution his mission. Seek nutritionists' advice, not doctor's.

  • Reply Jason Brown December 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Preventing Crohn's Disease With Diet

  • Reply seygra20 December 29, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    In my country's food guide plantain is not a vegetable. It's a starchy fruit that is placed in the same food group as bread, potato, yucca and corn.

  • Reply Mathieu G December 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    This is a complex issue. Although a high soluble fiber diet is great to maintain remission (probably due to the anti-inflammatory effect of butyrate produced by fermentation of fibers), a high fiber diet can also be a terrible idea for someone in a flare or having related problems like small intestine bacteria overgrowth and leaky gut. Having Crohn myself, I know that keeping a high intake of fiber will keep my gut in good shape. The same diet that keep me in good shape will worsen my condition if I have inflammation as I will quickly get bloated and possibly get an occlusion. This is because fibers dont just feed the good butyrate producing bacterias, but also the pathogenic ones and if you have leaky gut, you will just get a bigger dose of LPS into your system (the toxin of gram negative bacterias). What is accepted as the go to diet for Crohn flare in the community is the SCD/GAPS diet where you cut out all fermentable carbohydrate (which includes dairy) and add probiotics and bone broth, which is of course unsustainable long term as you starve all the bacterias, bad and good, but it gives rapid results when you start it. Some meat can be hard to properly digest for certain people, but it is not inflammatory for the gut, in contrast to processed sugary and fried foods or toxin rich foods like wheat.

    The best fibers seem to be resistant starch (bob<s red mill raw potato starch) and inulin (cooked onions and leeks).

  • Reply Sigrid Meeresfischlein December 29, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    my mother became vegan and cured her ulcerative colitis, her doctors are clueless…

  • Reply balderdashery G December 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Great video!

  • Reply Betsy Cosmos December 29, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Yes, I'm willing to take the risk of an occasional bit of spinach between my teeth!  Much better than all the down sides of eating animal-based foods.

  • Reply Joseph1NJ December 30, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Not surprising the prevalence of "leaky gut" with those who have IBD. Whether its the cause or the result, may be irrelevant. It could simply be just another symptom of poor diet. Bottom line: put the burger down, and eat some broccoli… another super hero of the vegie world.

  • Reply Everlong Raider December 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Ok, this might sound dumb but somebody should be able to help!
    Basically I have a shitty disease/syndrome called PoTS, It's called "Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome" and it's neurological disfunction or something. I think it might be thyroid problems aswell.
    Basically what happens is when I stand up, I get a huge adrenaline rush and then get a full left body contraction almost like a cramping seizure thing.
    It's something linked to blood pressure could anybody please recommend anything apart from increase salt intake, and water?
    Please it's really annoying and embarrassing, it has made me have an anxiety disorder!

    Any vegan tips?

  • Reply Lemi Lems December 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    can you cure gonorrhea with plant based diet or are antibiotics necessary? 

  • Reply Mariken Te December 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Can you make a video about curing adrenal fatigue? There is almost no information about it ):

  • Reply MyJazz66 December 31, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    My wife has crohns disease but will only listen to the doctors who want to give her drugs .. I've just told her about this and she says does it say a anything about people who have strictures
    Is narrowing of the small intestine
    This is what she has be told to eat pies pastis gelatine white bread
    All binding foods this sounds stupid to me
    Also she says it's called low residue foods have you any advise for her

  • Reply A R January 5, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Man, hidden gem this one! check out my videos!
    awesomestuff! You should do more!
    found this vid, You should do more!
    Really loved your vid, check out my page.
    Loved your video!
    Great video you should make more.

  • Reply Sidilicious July 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Go high fiber plant based!

  • Reply Tanner Herzman September 2, 2015 at 6:59 am

    BS I had IBD and I had to go on a SCD/Paleo diet to get rid of it and heal veganism is bullshit..

  • Reply Stephanie C December 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I'm just at a loss. I've been vegan for over a year and no processed food high plant food the past 4 months or so. cut out the vegan junk food. my IBS is worse than ever. it is so painful, id rather birth my children a million times over. I'm just at a loss! any advice anyone?

  • Reply Dawn van Cranebroek December 16, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you for this wished my doctors told me this! I have crohn disease and Im so glad I found this video Im so sick and tired of this stupid disease Im only 19 but sometimes I feel like Im 70 def gonna do this! No meat and dairy for me !

  • Reply brutalbeetle July 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Lot of people talking about things they've never experienced and don't know shit about. Most crohn's patients can't eat any plant foods. A vegan diet is going to put them in the hospital.

    Yes, studies link high fiber diet to be preventative of crohn's and relapses of crohn's during remission, but you will not be able to put someone with active crohn's on a vegetarian diet.

    I know because I've tried and I ended up getting gradually worse until the only thing I could tolerate was meat and sugar, now I'm stuck with an even worse diet than I was on before trying vegetarian.

  • Reply Barry Ferguson October 20, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Crohn's disease is curable people. Sorry for the long comment but it's necessary. I had it for about 8 years. I cut out meat, eggs and dairy years ago but I did have cheese on a veggie pizza occassionally or a bit of chocolate. Doctors wanted to cut out part of my stomach and put me on drugs for life. I said, "no thanks". I got some info from Dr Greger but mainly Dr. McDougall and his other vegan Dr friends (Jeff Novick, Joel Fuhrman, Caldwell Esselstyn, etc). They all have free info on youtube. Animal protein is the killer. I was weight training and slamming down beef, chicken, turkey and protein shakes with milk when I was 40. Never again will I eat meat, eggs or dairy (I did have one row of a kit kat the other day though). For 40 years I ate this way but it does catch up to you. If not crohn's it will be cancer or another disease. There is no nutritional value in animal protein or animal products even though they're yummy. I started earthing as well (search for Clint Ober on Youtube). Earthing is free health care and essential. Do it everyday if you can.
    My stomach troubles started in 2007 when I was about 40 years old. Diagnosed in early 2013 and pretty much cured at the start of 2016. When I walked away from the doctors at the end of 2013 It took about 9 months to get the funny uncomfortable feeling out of my stomach and it slowly got better. Sadly, it does take time but it will happen. At the start of 2016 I started to cut out fats or limit them and it (crohn's) pretty much disappeared. Fats that I cut out or limited were nuts, avocado and vegan butters. Even coconut oil I limited. A few months ago I had a bag of peanuts to test the stomach. Never again. Just a handful will do. Now I eat porridge, potatoes, rice, pasta, fruits and veggies. I could never have salads before or even apples but now I can. Start off with steamed veggies and mashed potatoes. I do have peanut butter once a week and I had to limit bread but now my stomach can handle pretty much anything (except lots of peanuts even though they're yummy). I used to crave hot chips but as I got better the cravings lessened. I think it was more the salt I was craving. Sadly, I used to crave alcohol too. That goes away to and now I have an occassional wine. Sadly, alcohol is not a health drink. I do believe (I'm not a Doctor but) the alcohol was for depression because with crohn's you feel like crap and you're confused. Confused because you'll have a certain food one week with no problems, but then next week you'll have the same food and be in agony. But in time you do and will get better as your body naturally wants to cure itself. Even though I was told your body wants to heal I still had doubts but it will. Give it time. Don Tolman was someone else I listened to but mainly Dr McDougall and his Dr friends.
    Cheers from Barry

  • Reply Lubricanttechnology November 4, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you for this Video.
    I really liked it.
    Is there any more ongoing studies to further investigate
    on what kind of veg water soluble fibrers that works the best?

  • Reply Scott Gabelman December 8, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Jack LaLanne once said if man made it don't eat it.

  • Reply Ziggy Lu 2022 December 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Very helpful. Thank you. I'm at the point of self diagnosing because the doctors can never find out what's wrong. I am constantly feeling miserable and taken down by whatever's going on in my stomach. It then affects the rest of my body. Going on 20 years now.

  • Reply william berg January 5, 2017 at 2:11 am

    I've been recently diagnosed with Crohns….. its funny I have always been a big meat eater, I have also always been eating what I call "quick foods" or food that comes from a bag or box that takes the least amount of time to prepare. After having to have a small portion of my intestines removed because of this disease I thought for sure that the Gastro Docs that were treating me would recommend a more natural diet, to my surprise they did not, in fact they instructed me to eat lots of processed foods and comfort foods because they are the easiest to digest. This didnt seem right to me, and I didnt listen. I am grateful for the information that is out there now. I am convinced that starting a plant based diet and literally removing all processed foods to the best of my ability will put me into and keep me into remission. Thank you for the info and explanations.

  • Reply PETER MAINWALD January 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    So Madge was right!! You ARE soaking in it!!

  • Reply davejohnson February 26, 2017 at 2:48 am

    YOU CANNOT PREVENT CROHNS WITH DIET! PERIOD! THIS IS TOTAL B.S.! IT'S A GENETIC & INHERITABLE DISEASE. GO TO A HOSPITAL LIKE MT. SINAI IN NYC THAT'S SPECIALIZED IN IT FOR DECADES. YOU WILL NOT FIND A SINGLE DOCTOR WHO WILL AGREE WITH THE ABOVE B-LLSHIT!!  BTW, WHO THE F-CK IS THIS "DR. GREGER"? DOES HE EVEN HAVE A FIRST NAME??  I & MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY & FRIENDS HAVE HAD CROHNS OUR ENTIRE LIVES. I'VE READ MORE INFO ON CROHNS THAN THESE NINNIES WILL EVER LEARN & I CAN TELL YOU THEIR VIDEO PRESENTATION IS TOTAL CRAP!!  FOLLOW IT AT YOUR OWN RISK!

  • Reply MauM / Mauro Miceli Consigli March 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Now I have a cousin of mine with Crohn's disease. I shared this video to him and my family, and the one about regression too. Also Food Choices and your famous talk, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death. I hope they listen and do something about it.

  • Reply Redbeans & Rich April 11, 2017 at 8:48 am

    WHO THE HELL DOESN'T RNISE THEIR DISHES?!

  • Reply 電神Saṃsāra June 5, 2017 at 4:00 am

    As one who suffers from Crohn's disease, everything said in this video makes sense.

    I used to live my whole life eating shit, and contracted this extremely debilitating disease as a result when I was 18.

    I've been suffering for years, in and out of hospitals all the time and am even currently on a biologic drug called Humira. I need to inject myself every two weeks until a cure pops up or until the day I die.

    A combination of drugs and herbal supplements I am on have done good job at putting me in a partial remission. And luckily I have recently realized what kind of diet has caused me to end up with this disease in the first place.

    I have corrected myself, atleast for the most part. I am currently a pescatarian who doesn't eat eggs or dairy. I am also incorporating high amounts of fiber in my diet, especially through legumes.

    I'm 20 now, and I have to say that this is the best I've felt since before I was cursed with this disease.

    Please, don't make the same mistake I did. Avoid animal protein and focus on your fiber intake. We always seem to distance ourselves from these kinds of conditions but we need to realize that we are very susceptible to gaining them ourselves. We CAN and WILL get these diseases if we don't take care of ourselves properly.

  • Reply izeizei July 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    People are idiots! LOL! Unrinced dishes!!! LOL! They deserve Crohn's and what not! Imbeciles!

  • Reply crazy observations August 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    White Cali rice, steamed spinach, broccoli, asparagus, half of a tomato, lemon, FCP extra virgin olive oil. two tablespoons of beef or fish one poached egg one fresh fruit half a cup of yogurt. This is my daily diet now. If you have early crohn's abandon the traditional western diet. it will kill you one piece of bowel at a time. What you don't see on the list is refined sugar or anything made with refined sugar

  • Reply Maisybo B October 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I love most vegetables, but I'll get a bowel obstruction every time if I eat broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, dark leafy greens, etc. I can usually tolerate most fruits OK. My gastroenterologist told me to follow a low residue diet. I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2012 after swallowing a camera capsule. The pictures showed I had blisters & a stricture at my terminal ileum & surgeon did bowel resection. FINALLY started Stelara a couple months ago & take oral Entocort. I don't know what to believe…☹

  • Reply Noy noy Cho March 12, 2018 at 10:30 am

    This video is gold.

  • Reply Sam Farhang May 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you Dr Greger for these informative vids. Having Crohn's myself I must admit that Plant based diet is one of the best approaches and it will work best if the patient applies Intermittent Fasting along with the diet.
    Those of you having this disease, my recommendation is to give it a try. What Dr Greger is saying here is TRUE. In my case I found out that it was Cheese and Meat that had triggered my problems. After cutting out these along with egg, fat/oil I noticed that my symptoms are gone.
    But I feel best when I am on Whole Food Plant Based diet + Intermittent Fasting. I eat 1-2 times per day with a eating window of 2-3 hours. During this window I add only Plant Based food with lots of veggies and fruits BUT main focus on STARCHES. I drink almond & Soy Milk mix with some dates. My body gets all it needs for another 21 hours of fasting.

  • Reply winter rose June 6, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    This doctors answer to everything is a plant based diet Bologna can't eat fiber!!!!!

  • Reply Scott Gabelman June 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    it's impossible to cure Crohn's disease with a plant-based diet as the body cannot break down cellulose. Check out listentoyourgut.com and jini Patel Thompson Will educate you on how to cure Crohn's disease with no drugs. You've for to go on a ketogenic paleo type diet with lots of organic fats and proteins and low glycemic index vegetables. She'll tell you which vegetables to start with in her IBD remission diet book. Hope this helps

  • Reply Scott Gabelman June 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    it's impossible to cure Crohn's disease with a plant-based diet as the body cannot break down cellulose. Check out listentoyourgut.com and jini Patel Thompson Will educate you on how to cure Crohn's disease with no drugs. You've for to go on a ketogenic paleo type diet with lots of organic fats and proteins and low glycemic index vegetables. She'll tell you which vegetables to start with in her IBD remission diet book. Hope this helps

  • Reply Scott Gabelman June 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    it's impossible to cure Crohn's disease with a plant-based diet as the body cannot break down cellulose. Check out listentoyourgut.com and jini Patel Thompson Will educate you on how to cure Crohn's disease with no drugs. You've for to go on a ketogenic paleo type diet with lots of organic fats and proteins and low glycemic index vegetables. She'll tell you which vegetables to start with in her IBD remission diet book. Hope this helps

  • Reply Scott Gabelman June 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    it's impossible to cure Crohn's disease with a plant-based diet as the body cannot break down cellulose. Check out listentoyourgut.com and jini Patel Thompson Will educate you on how to cure Crohn's disease with no drugs. You've for to go on a ketogenic paleo type diet with lots of organic fats and proteins and low glycemic index vegetables. She'll tell you which vegetables to start with in her IBD remission diet book. Hope this helps

  • Reply anarky4321 July 3, 2018 at 6:11 am

    of course its dietary caused….modern medicine can't see past pill profits

  • Reply Jack Jammen July 25, 2018 at 7:41 am

    What about using Phages to kill the bacteria?

  • Reply julie wolf August 6, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I am a colitis sufferer an I love this advice and have followed it for many years even before I was diagnosed through a biopsy with colitis. I am currently finishing up a 2 week course of Xifaxin which has been the only relief I have had in 5 months. I am also using a product called, Intestinal Repair by Barleans which seems like an important key in my recovery as do the right probiotics. I recommend viewing the YouTube reports by Jini Patel Thompson. She overcame severe Crohn's disease with dietary changes and supplements. Please take her advice before you jump down the medical rabbit hole. It could be there's no coming out of it.

  • Reply M P September 19, 2018 at 11:35 am

    This is bull

  • Reply badcarma69 September 24, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Crohn's disease (and all other autoimmune diseases) is caused by a lack of fiber in the diet; fiber the bacteria in your colon use to make short chain fatty acids like butyrate that's the primary fuel source for colonocytes, which stimulate goblet cells to produce more mucus to protect those cells (and your bloodstream) from the bacteria and other potential pathogens in the colon.

    When you don't feed your bacteria enough fiber, guess what they start feeding on? If you guessed your mucosal layer, you'd be correct. The mucus is made primarily of carbohydrates, it is a backup fuel source for the bacteria in your gut. If you deprive them of fiber long enough, they'll completely consume that mucosal layer, and now those microbes are dangerously close to your epithelial cells, which sets off a massive immune response, so your immune system begins attacking not only your own bacterial colonies, but the epithelial lining those colonies are invading, and voila! You have your own immune system attacking your intestines.

    Also, as Dr. Greger pointed out in another video: your immune system mistakes a lack of butyrate production for a bad bacteria overgrowth, and begins attacking.

    Here's Stanford Microbiome Researchers the Sonnenburg's explaining the lack of fiber forces your microbes to feed on your mucus and eventually you:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOZcbNw7sng&t=0s&index=40&list=PLxfhDVtYA0kYME8AHfpWVPvsjxbCzA1hf

  • Reply SKlWl September 27, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Today i just got diagnosed with crohns disease and ive been vegan for almost 3 years!!! Whats going wrong??

  • Reply Siera Day September 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Recently being diagnosed with Crohn's 4 years ago with no family history. For 20 years prior to being diagnosed I ate a high fiber plant based diet every day hoping to avoid colon cancer. Dad passed at 42 from it. So, I'm not sold on the high fiber/plant based preventing or making better. I can hardly eat fiber or plant based without risking a flare.

  • Reply Bettina Vogel January 26, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Plant food diet helped me sooo much. Totaly in remission- don’t even need und any medication. I feel free an happy again. The vegan diet works.
    So Thankful.

  • Reply Eddie Garcia Jr May 27, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Then how come people are healing their gut issues with the carnivore diet? It’s being proven left and right. Idk, I always have terrible bowel movements after vegetables.

  • Reply Shauna Harbison June 17, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Polysorbate 80 is one of the adjuvents in vaccines….

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