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Low-Fat, High-Fiber Diet May Help Improve Quality of Life For People With Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, and fatigue. According to a recent study, a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help improve quality of life for people with inflammatory bowel disease.

Seventeen people with ulcerative colitis that was either mild or in remission participated in the study. They consumed a diet that was high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and low in fat or a diet that contained higher quantities of fruits, vegetables, and fiber than a standard American diet for four weeks. After a two-week washout period, the participants switched interventions.

The researchers took blood and stool samples at baseline and at the end of each four-week dietary intervention period. The samples were analyzed for markers of inflammation and gut bacteria composition. Participants filled out the short inflammatory bowel disease questionnaire at baseline and at the end of each four-week dietary intervention.

Participants reported improved quality of life as a result of both diets, which were healthier than participants’ baseline diets. However, only the low-fat, high-fiber diet resulted in lower levels of inflammation and improvement in bacterial imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Miami. It was published online ahead of print on May 20, 2020 in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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