Articles relating to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet
The relivance of bifidobacteria in CD?
Thu, 13 Feb 1997 12:49:08 GMT
The following article discusses the findings of scientists in the UK about
the apparent success of fighting certain intestinal diseases by enhancing
the quantity of bifidobacteria (which is naturally present) in the intestines.
It would appear that this is another reason why the homemade yoghurt in
SCD is so beneficial to many of us.
Has anyone any information about the impact of bifidobacteria on CD?
02:56 PM ET 02/12/97
Guardian bacteria may ward off E.coli-scientists
(Release at 7:01 p.m. EST)
LONDON (Reuter) - Vulnerable elderly people may be able to
protect themselves against the potentially fatal E-coli bug by
taking supplements of another bacteria that lives in the
intestine, British scientists said Thursday.
The scientists at the Institute of Food Research in Reading
said they found that bifidobacteria, found in some commercially
available yoghurts, fought off E.coli in laboratory experiments.
Bifidobacteria occurs naturally in the human intestine, but
it disappears rapidly as people get older.
This may explain why all 18 victims of a recent outbreak of
E.coli in Scotland were elderly.
``As bifidobacteria populations decline, those of
potentially harmful bacteria, such as E.coli and Streptococcus
surge,'' said Glen Gibson of the Institute of Food Research.
But he said eating live yoghurt may not solve the problem.
``I'm not a fan of these live yoghurts because its asking a
lot for them to get right through the gut to the large
intestine,'' he told New Scientist magazine.
Instead, Gibson suggests taking food supplements containing
fructo-oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that is digested
by bifidobacteria, but not by other harmful bacteria.
The carbohydrates thus help boost the level of
bifidobacteria in the intestine, although researchers have yet
to test whether they can restore bifidobacteria in elderly
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 00:34:08
It is my guess that most of us consume a large amount of vitamin d in
the yogurt and dry cottage cheese that we consume each day. Perhaps it can
have a secondary benefit for the men. Please refer to the following article:
Friday December 13 6:24 PM EST
Vitamin D Linked With Prostate Cancer
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Men who have a particular vitamin D receptor gene
are less likely than others to develop the type of prostate cancer that
requires surgical removal, a recent study suggests.
"Our findings support the hypothesis that vitamin D plays an important
role in prostate cancer," wrote lead author Dr. Jack A. Taylor, of
the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research
Triangle Park, in North Carolina.
Previous studies have suggested that lack of sunlight -- which boosts
vitamin D -- is linked to prostate cancer, as is having low blood levels
of the vitamin. Other reports have found that break-down products of vitamin
D can suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory.
"Different men have different risks of prostate cancer," stated
Taylor in a release from the NIEHS, "and this could be based, in part,
on how their bodies utilize vitamin D."
In the study, researchers looked at 108 cancer patients undergoing surgical
removal of the prostate -- the walnut-shaped gland surrounding the urethra
-- and compared them with 170 cancer-free men. They found that 22% of the
cancer patients had two copies -- one from each parent -- of a particular
vitamin D receptor gene, compared with just 8% of the cancer-free patients,
according to a report in the journal Cancer Research. Vitamin D influences
the body by binding to the receptor in the body.
Two different types of genes make up the receptor, designated by scientists
as T, or t. Each individual has two such genes, making them TT, Tt, or tt.
In the study, men who were tt were one-third less likely to have prostate
"If these findings can be verified, (the gene variation) represents
an important determinant of prostate cancer risk," Taylor wrote. However,
it is not yet clear that increasing consumption of vitamin D-rich food --
such as fortified milk -- can prevent prostate cancer.
"The body's metabolism of vitamin D is complex," Taylor said.
"Simply increasing vitamin D consumption or sunlight exposure may not
affect levels of the vitamin in the blood." SOURCE: Cancer Research
I found the following article to be very well written and explanatory of us
IBD'ers. It would be a useful one to give to those around us that don't quite
understand what IBD is and what we go through.
Fire in the belly
From The Vancouver Sun newspaper (British Columbia, Canada), Dec 2/96, By
Alesa White and Tom Larscheid know what it's like to cope with a demanding
illness no one wants to hear about.
White, a 36-year-old executive assistant, had ulcerative colitis - a condition
that attcks the iner lining of the large intestine with inflammation,
ulceration, bleeding and scarring.
She spent 10 awful years suffering fromt he disease until a series of
operations, performed in 1992, cured her.
Larscheid, a 56-year-old radio hockey commentator known to legions of fans, has
for the past 19 years had Crohn's disease -- an incurable related condition
that attacks not just the large intestine but any part of the digestive tract.
These common illnesses affect tens of thousands of Canadians -- possibly
100,000 or more.
There's also evidence that something in our environment
causes Asian Immigrants ot develop the diseases after arriving her.
White remembers the intense pain of colitis, the bloody diarrhea and other
nasty symptoms, and the unbearable side effects of the medications she took.
Worst of all was the feeling she had no control over the illness. "It wreaks
havoc on your social, professional and personal life," she said.
By contrast, Larscheid amazes others who suffer from Crohn's disease with his
ability to travel constantly, eat in restaurants on the road, and rarely miss a
day of work. To pull that off, he has developed a kind of mental toughness.
"you can't let yourself get worn down by this," he says.
But while his medications control his symptoms, and although he responds
quickly to early distress signals from his body, he occasionally endures a
"You just never know when it's going to flare up," he said. "You can do all the
right things, eat the right foods, and there's no guarantee. That's probably
the most frustrating thing about the disease."
White's former disease, ulcerative colitis,and Larscheid's continuing health
problem, Crohn's disease, are forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) -- an
umbrella term that is blandly descriptive to health professionals, but a total
turn-off to everyone else.
Because the gut is involved and the symptoms are messy and disagreeable, these
common illnesses rarely are discussed. So there are no good statistics on
numbers of cases, and the diseases don't draw enough research dollars to bring
about a cure.
"People don't walk across Canada for diarrhea," Dr. Eric Hassall, head of
gastroenterology at B.C.'s Children's Hospital, succinctly puts it.
Ulcerative colitis usually makes itself known through bloody diarrhea.
Frequent bowel movements are another common symptom.
A disheartening paragraph in _Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis_, a new
guide for patients by Toronto's Dr. Fred Saibil, says: "As a rough guide, two
to five trips to the toilet in 24 hours indicate a mild attack of colitis, five
to 10 trips indicate a moderate attack, and 10 to 20 or 30 trips indicate a
White, now a poised and self-possessed employee of an investment management
firm, remembers how in the 1980's, when her illness was at its worst, she chose
routes to work, leisure activities and shopping according to the number of
public restrooms they passed.
President of the Vancouver chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of
Canada, White said: "Almost everybody I've talked to with either colitis or
Crohn's lives that lifestyle" -- so much so that chapter members have joked
about putting together a "loo guide" to Vancouver.
Crohn's disese is characterized by diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain and weight
loss, since eating often brings on the symptoms.
Indeed, weight loss is a feature of both diseases. When they strike adolescent
girls, as they frequently do, they can initially be mistaken for eating
The diseases are also marked by crushing fatigue and anemia.
IBD is common in Canada, although precise figures don't exist.
Dr. Stanford Stordy, a gastroenterologist at St. Paul's Hospital, observed "a
phenomenal increase" of Crohn's disease cases in the two decades following his
arrival in Vancouver in 1963.
Stordy, who trained at McGill University, said: "It was really extraordinary to
watch this happen, and the same thing, I think, took place in Montreal. When I
was there, Crohn's disease was a curiosity in the hospital and now it's a thing
you see daily."
He believes the boom has levelled off in recent years.
Yet Joanne Leslie, regional director of the foundation's British Columbia and
Yukon branch, has the impression that southeren B.C. and southern Alberta are
pockets of high incidence. "We assume it's true because we are besieged with
calls," she said.
But Michael Howorth, the foundation's national executive director, said from
Toronto that all directors feel their regions are hotbeds of gastrointestinal
The foundation is starting a national network of patient profiles to amass
sound numbers on incidence and prevalence "for the first time ever," he said.
No one knows what causes colitis or Crohn's disease, but they have a powerful
Larscheid has two brothers with Crohn's disease. White's grandmother had
Enviroment also plays a role.
As a public figure, Larscheid says: "I've never really made a big thing about
my Crohn's. You want people to look at you as being healthy."
That's certainly possible: The two diseases are rarely fatal and shave only
about two years off life expectancy.
It's possible to have IBD and lead a normal, productive life -- or even an
unusually active one. In the National Hockey League, two players (Theo Fleury
and Kevin Dineen) have Crohn's disease, and a third (Shayne Corson) has
Still, White doesn't like to hear the seriousness of the diseases down-played.
When she was in her 20's she went through hell with colitis.
"I was frightened of what was going on, and embarrassed. That caused me to be
reticent, and not come forward and mention it to a doctor until it was to a
point where I could not ignore it anymore and I was frightened for my life,"
After 10 years of drug therapy failed to give her the upper hand, she elected
to have her colon removed. A second operation created an internal pouch that
holds her body wastes until she empties it.
Patients dread that kind of surgery, but White finds it has improved her life.
"I wish I'd done it sooner," she said.
She doesn't shy form talking about the grim details, saying: "I'm okay [with
it]. To me, it's a matter of fact, it's a reality and I'm not ashamed of it."
Her grandmother died of colon cancer that developed because she was mortified
by her ulcerative colitis and never sought treatment for it.
White doesn't want that to happen to anyone anymore, and so raises her voice
against the silence.
Disease strikes Asian immigrants
By Rebecca Wigod; The Vancouver Sun newspaper (British Columbia, Canada), Dec
2, 1996; pg B7 Health section
Family history plays a strong role in whether a person develops Crohn's disease
or ulcerative colitis.
But there's also something in the Western Canadian diet, or an infectious agent
in our environment, that causes people to develop the two main types of
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
That's the conclusion two Vancouver reserchers drew after studying immigrants
of Chinese extraction.
Dr. Hugh Chaun and Dr. Hugh Freeman, gastoenterologists at St. Paul's Hospital
and the Vancouver Health Sciences Centre (formerly University Hospital),
studied small groups of immigrants from China, Hong Kong, Singpore and
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are virtually unknown in Asian
countries, but immigrants in the samples developed them after arriving in
Freeman said China and Hong Kong have extremely low rates of IBD, "but when the
Chinese have immigrated here, their incidence rate of Crohn's disease and
ulcerative colitis has been quite impressive, as much as the local population."
Freeman and Chaun reported in _The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology_ that
Chinese immigrants in their samples took an average of nine years to develop
symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
Those who developed Crohn's disease had been in Canada for an average of seven
"It makes you think there's something in the diet, or something infectious in
the environment that's important, that they don't have in Hong Kong," Freeman
The researchers are finding a similar pattern among immigrants from India.
"It's al little harder to document it in the Indo-Canadian population," Freeman
said, "but there seems to be a similar kind of issue, at least with ulcerative
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