JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Is there a link between food and intestinal microbes and the occurrence of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?

Hitoshi Asakura, Kenji Suzuki, Tetsuji Kitahora, Toshio Morizane
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2008, 23 (12): 1794-801
19120872
The pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) is not fully understood. The interaction between intestinal environmental factors of food and intestinal microbes and the immunological system of hosts seems to be an important aspect. We have reviewed the relationship of the daily consumption of dietary animal meat and fats, dairy products, sugar, and other factors that may be linked to the occurrence of CD and UC from the literature and Japanese epidemiological data. In the present study, we reviewed the association between food and intestinal microbes and other factors contributing to the occurence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from epidemiological data and case-control studies of IBD in the literature that appeared on Medline, and assessed the reports of intestinal microbes involved in the occurrence of IBD. We found several papers describing the positive association of animal meat and sweets and sugar with the occurrence of CD and UC. An analysis of Japanese epidemiological data suggested that the registered number of patients with CD or UC started to increase more than 20 years after an increased daily consumption of dietary animal meat and fats, and milk and dairy products, and after a decreased consumption of rice. Many studies implied a positive role of intestinal microbes in the occurrence of IBD. Intestinal environmental factors, such as Westernized food and intestinal microbes, seem to be involved in the increased occurrence of IBD.

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