Study: Diet to keep Crohn’s disease under control

Toilet The Auckland woman has been suffering from the debilitating bowel disease for the past 20 years. But now she says food is her medicine.

“This is a Mediterranean diet and it’s helped from the point of view of reducing symptoms of Crohn’s. My husband just can’t believe the difference. I have more energy than him now!”

It’s all thanks to technology developed by a group of University of Auckland researchers who believe certain health conditions can be controlled by diet.

“I’d know that having two copies of the T are really going to have trouble controlling their weight,” says Dr Lynn Ferguson.

Dr Ferguson says while you can’t change the structure of your genes, you can switch them on and off with specific food.

“I carry a thing called the FTO gene, which I don’t want to have, but I know it affects satiety. So I will often drink a glass of water or have an apple half an hour before a meal because it means I’m more easily satisfied.”

Dr Ferguson says it explains why some foods are beneficial for some people but not for others.

“For example, one thing I would often recommend to people is oily fish,” she says. “But there’s a group of those people that we’re working with who can’t take it.”

Researchers here say they hope manufacturers will be able to use this kind of information to make more accurate claims about their products, which in turn could make it easier for consumers to make healthy choices.

Watch the video report here

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