A healthy diet prevents the risk of intestinal disease.


Feeding a baby a healthy diet during the first years of life reduces the later risk of inflammatory bowel disease, suggests a study published in the journal Gut. The diet should contain a lot of fish and vegetables and a minimum consumption of sugary drinks at this age. The study has used information from two large databases, ABIS, carried out on more than 21,700 children born between October 1997 and October 1999 in Sweden, and MoBa, which includes 114,500 children, 95,200 mothers and 75,200 fathers recruited in Norway between 1999 and 2008. Related News standard No The body warns up to 8 years before the diagnosis of an intestinal disease IR A study suggests that when Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are diagnosed, they have already been causing years in the intestine Cases of inflammatory disease bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are increasing globally. Although there is no obvious explanation for this trend, changes in dietary patterns are thought to play a role, due to their impact on the gut microbiome. Diet quality, obtained by measuring intake of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, sweets, snacks and beverages, was assessed using a modified version of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scoring system. , adapted for children. The weekly frequency of specific food groups was also assessed. Higher diet quality (higher intake of vegetables, fruits and fish, and lower intake of meat, sweets, refrigerators and drinks) is reflected in a higher HEI score. The total score was divided into thirds to indicate a low, medium, or high-quality diet score. Data on age at weaning, antibiotic use, and formula feeding intake at 12 years and 18 months will also be reported. The children’s health was monitored for an average of 21 (ABIS) and 15 (MoBa) years from the age of 1 year to December 31, 2020-21. During this period, 307 children were diagnosed with IBD (131 with Crohn’s disease; 97 with ulcerative colitis; and 79 with unclassified IBD). The average age at diagnosis was 17 years (ABIS) and 12 (MoBa). Vegetables and fish The research authors maintain that medium and high quality diets at the age of 1 year were associated with a 25% lower overall risk of IBD compared to a low quality diet at this age. Specifically, high fish consumption at the age of 1 year was associated with a 54% lower risk of ulcerative colitis. And the same was identified with a greater intake of vegetables at that age. However, the consumption of sugary drinks is associated with a 42% higher risk. At age 3 years, only high fish consumption was associated with a reduced risk of IBD and, in particular, ulcerative colitis. Related News standard No Do foods, beyond their nutritional value, help us in the fight against cancer? ABC Some foods enhance the body’s defense systems The researchers recognize that this is an observational study and, as such, cannot establish the cause and that the findings may not be extrapolated to low- or middle-income countries with other eating habits. However, they conclude that, although non-causal explanations for our results cannot be ruled out, the results reinforce the hypothesis that diet in the first years of life, possibly mediated by changes in the intestinal microbiome, can affect the risk of developing IBD. In a linked editorial, Ashwin Ananthakrishnan of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA, cautions that the questionnaires did not capture elements, such as additives and emulsifiers, that are common in baby foods and that may contribute to the development of IBD. However, he believes it may be time to recommend a “preventive” diet, especially since it likely has other health benefits. “This includes ensuring an adequate amount of dietary fiber, especially from fruits and vegetables, fish intake, minimizing sugary drinks and preferring fresh foods and snacks over processed and ultra-processed ones.”

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