This common food may increase risk of dangerous bowel diseases

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In a recent study at Stony Brook University, researchers found that consumption of fructose may worsen intestinal inflammation common to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

The study is published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. One author is David Montrose, Ph.D.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately three million Americans are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases each year, up to one million from incidence in the late 1990s.

Consumption of a Western diet is linked to increased risks of obesity and diabetes, and inflammatory bowel diseases may be an additional disease exacerbated by fructose intake.

In the study, the team fed mice high amounts of fructose, and they found this worsened colonic inflammation along with notable effects in their gut bacteria including changes in their type, metabolism, and localization within the colon.

Complementary mechanistic work demonstrated that the gut microbiota is causally linked to the harmful effects of the high fructose diet.

The findings provide evidence of a direct link between dietary fructose and inflammatory bowel diseases and support the concept that high consumption of fructose could worsen disease in people with inflammatory bowel diseases.

This is important because it has the potential to provide guidance on diet choices for inflammatory bowel disease patients, something that is currently lacking.

The team says several next steps include the development of interventions to prevent the pro-inflammatory effects of dietary fructose as well as evaluating whether this diet increases colitis-associated tumorigenesis.

This second point is particularly important because inflammatory bowel disease patients are at increased risk of developing colon cancer due to a lifetime of chronic inflammation of the gut.

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