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Crohn's Disease Forum » Ask the Experts » Are there any that are potentially problematic artificial ingredients and fillers for people with IBD?


12-20-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
David
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Are there any that are potentially problematic artificial ingredients and fillers for people with IBD?

A member recently asked,
Some processed foods and supplements have a host of artificial ingredients and fillers with hard to pronounce agents. Are there any that are potentially problematic and should be avoided for those with IBD?
Tolulope O. Falaiye, M.D. of the Penn State Hershey Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center took time out of her busy schedule to answer this question. A little about Dr. Falaiye:

Tolulope O. Falaiye, MD is a pediatric gastroenterologist Hershey/Penn State IBD Center.

In regards to the question, Dr. Falaiye stated:

The kinds of foods for an IBD patient to avoid depend on where they have disease, if the disease is active, how severe the disease is, if they have strictures and if they have an ostomy. There is no specific scientific evidence of processed foods and supplements causing IBD flares, however, there are not enough research studies about this topic. A patient’s best resort is to listen to their body, identify foods that trigger their symptoms and avoid those foods.

A patient with strictures needs to avoid high fiber foods, vegetable and/or fruit skins, seeds and nuts as these could cause an obstruction which could require surgery. These foods would also likely cause more symptoms in a patient who has extensive small bowel inflammation or severe inflammation.
The CCFA held a webinar addressing questions about diet in IBD and popular diets found online. Here are the slides: http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/food...ion-slides.pdf

The CCFA has a great chart with food suggestions for patients with an ostomy, found at: http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/food_ref_card.pdf
Thank you to Dr. Falaiye for her time and expertise!
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12-20-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
Jennifer
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If possible it would be good to do a followup question about Carrageenan.

"Carrageenan may exacerbate symptoms and disease progression in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis."
http://www.crohnsforum.com/wiki/Carrageenan
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03-31-2014, 10:04 PM   #3
Lady Organic
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we can no longer think that artificial ingredient used in western diet (and also pesticides and synthetic agricultural agents) are without consequences on our health. There is just so much crap used in industrial food. They may not have a direct impact, right away like provoking a flare but they are for sure polluting agents in our body with more possible long term impact. Thats what I firmly believe now. IMO, There is a limit to what the digestive system can filter. Any time we ingest fake, clown food, we slowly attack our organs and whole body.
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04-29-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
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I was put on CoQ10 for migraine prevention. The system is also used to activate your immune system. I'm assuming as a result of the latter, my Crohn's flared considerably and I began to bleed a great deal.
04-29-2015, 07:46 PM   #5
David
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Tina, when you went off the CoQ10 did the flare subside?
04-29-2015, 07:57 PM   #6
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Yep David. It subsided in a few days
05-04-2015, 12:03 PM   #7
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we can no longer think that artificial ingredient used in western diet (and also pesticides and synthetic agricultural agents) are without consequences on our health. There is just so much crap used in industrial food. They may not have a direct impact, right away like provoking a flare but they are for sure polluting agents in our body with more possible long term impact. Thats what I firmly believe now. IMO, There is a limit to what the digestive system can filter. Any time we ingest fake, clown food, we slowly attack our organs and whole body.
Thank you whole-heartedly for this post!!! I have just been diagnosed with crohn's after years of trying to find out what has been going on with me. One of the main things I must do to avoid feeling bad is to not eat any highly processed food whatsoever. I had gone a really long time without a diagnosis, so I really had no choice but to educate myself about gastrointestinal issues of all kinds, consider my symptoms, and try to manage them the best I could. I have eliminated all processed food and do not eat anything with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. I cook everything from scratch like back in the way-old days, and it makes the biggest difference you could ever imagine! When I slip up and eat stuff I shouldn't I notice the difference right away. In addition I have better skin, nails, hair, less bloat, and tons more energy from eating clean. It is something I think everyone should do even if they are healthy. It just makes sense.
05-04-2015, 07:44 PM   #8
D Bergy
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Processed food has so many unknown, unpronouncable additives and fillers and GMO ingredients I eat less of it every year.

Even stuff in the food that is not always harmful, is still devoid of nutrition. I think the point of eating is to gain something useful from it. The even put wood fiber as a filler. It may not be harmful, but if I just wanted to fill my belly, I can eat My own sawdust.

I made three more raised bed garden boxes this year. More and more of our food is grown by ourselves. At least I know that food has not been soaked in Roundup and is not an experimental GMO strain.

I am tired of being a lab rat for corporate America.

Dan
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05-04-2015, 09:21 PM   #9
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This is a very interesting post. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and I have done a lot of research on diet, preservatives etc. I have pretty much converted to a clean diet too. I steer clear of added chemicals, carrageenan, xanthan gum and sodium laurel sulfate etc. Makes it difficult when traveling and socializing but I make it work. I have non celiac gluten intolerance too. Gluten free foods are loaded with this junk so I make everything from scratch. When I trip up, I pay for it with gastrointestinal upset and joint pain. My body does not tolerate chemicals at all, not even the crohns meds. Currently, I'm biding my time with diet and no meds. Doing pretty well, not perfect but avoiding the chemicals that will make me feel worse. Thankfully, I have mild crohns.
05-05-2015, 06:07 AM   #10
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I gave up all processed food for a while, ate all organic, etc. and it made me worse.
05-30-2015, 07:49 AM   #11
WingedVictory
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I gave up all processed food for a while, ate all organic, etc. and it made me worse.
Ever think it was the kind of food you ate that was to blame and had nothing to do with whether it was processed or organic? Or the portion size and frequency of eating certain foods?

Personally, I think a movement back to basics towards home-cooked meals is in order. The convenience and luxury of processed foods just aren't worth the negative health concerns surrounding preservatives, flavor enhancers, GMOs, stabilizers, food dyes, etc.
05-30-2015, 08:49 AM   #12
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No - it is just that eliminating processed food doesn't make me feel any better. Nor does eating all home cooked meals. Eating processed food is generally better for me.
05-30-2015, 09:04 AM   #13
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I tried every kind of healing diet there is, over the course of around two years. I'd never "cheat". I'm very certain of the foods that are good and bad for me.

Overall volume of food - the more food, the worse for my digestive system, but I struggle to maintain weight so that's a very difficult balance for me and the toughest problem I have with diet.

Fibre was a problem before I got a stoma. I still have to be careful with it now to avoid blockages. Which is why processed is better as a rule, it tends to mean less fibre.

Rich and stodgy food makes my stomach uncomfortable in the short term (after eating) due to gastroparesis, GERD and other upper digestive symptoms.

But as for the things you mention: preservatives, flavor enhancers, GMOs, stabilizers, food dyes, etc. None that I've eaten have noticable effects for me, there's no improvement when I eat none of them.
05-30-2015, 10:00 AM   #14
WingedVictory
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Well the FDA thinks processed food additives are safe enough for us to consume daily in small amounts so I don't believe all of those components definitely contribute to digestive disorders. Although some stabilizers (Guar / xantham gums) are known FODMAPs which I think bacteria can ferment and make us experience IBS symptoms. Additionally many processed foods tend to use unhealthy fat and carbohydrate ingredients like oils high in omega 6 and high fructose corn syrup. Then there's artificial sweeteners which again pose risks for IBS and other sorts of symptoms. Which are all avoidable if most of our meals were home-made. But even still there is no guarantee that omission of those common processed food ingredients will NOTICEABLY improve digestive disorder symptoms. The fact that processed foods contain so many ingredients makes it challenging to know if its the food or the additives that are the culprit.

On the other hand, I also don't think that eating organic would necessarily have any correlation with improving digestive conditions. As it only addresses the focus of pesticides, GMO's, in regard to our bodies ability to process toxins. Which again our bodies can handle in low enough doses without day to day side effects.

I guess it's just a little more settling to know and easily understand whats in the food we consume. It also helps simplify grocery shopping without needing to "Google" ingredients on a smartphone. Like chicken is chicken, a potato is a potato, etc. I guess it can't get more reassuring than that. A bit easier than looking up peer reviewed studies on the harmful effects of xyz processed food additive to determine if its safe for regular consumption.
05-30-2015, 10:54 AM   #15
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I don't feel a need to look up ingredients to feel reassured.
06-12-2015, 06:04 PM   #16
David
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Well the FDA thinks processed food additives are safe enough for us to consume daily in small amounts so I don't believe all of those components definitely contribute to digestive disorders.
I'd suggest giving this a read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...fd1_story.html
06-13-2015, 11:38 AM   #17
WingedVictory
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David, perhaps you mistook what I said. I'm not entirely sure what your point is (except to contradict) since you didn't care to explain yourself.

That article doesn't present anything scientifically conclusive. It just hints at correlation of food additives giving "problems" to people with digestive disorders. The brief mention of Tobacman's research doesn't even give details about conditions for how carrageenan causes bowel disease. The word "can" implies weak evidence and that its effects are inconsistent from case to case.

I wasn't supporting the FDA - that would be insanely naive. Instead I was advocating for eating home-cooked meals and saving yourself the trouble of being concerned with additives in the first place. At the same time, if you do rarely consume processed foods I don't think the additives should be too concerning when it comes to being a cause for immune disorders. We all should instinctively know that processed food conveniences (longer shelf life, already prepared, etc.) made possible by its additives, also has potential health risks - it's like playing with fire, it comes with the territory. That is just my opinion though. From a research standpoint it's a very deep and muddled rabbit hole considering the political and business implications.

Last edited by WingedVictory; 06-13-2015 at 12:09 PM.
06-14-2015, 09:03 PM   #18
David
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It doesn't provide anything scientifically conclusive because the point of the article is that even the FDA admits additives are now in the food supply that just plain haven't been tested.
“We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food.
My point was that even the FDA disagrees with your statement that,
the FDA thinks processed food additives are safe enough for us to consume daily
Do they DEFINITELY cause digestive issues? I can't use that term because the science hasn't been done. But I suspect some do in some people. I know I'm not willing to let myself be their lab rat though.

I agree home cooked meals )using as much produce that hasn't been sprayed with pesticides) is the way to go.
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