Preservatives and additives increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease in India

In a recently concluded conference, scientists have revealed that the preservatives and additives used in food items increase the risk of bowel diseases among people. Earlier it was considered that bowel diseases mostly occur in western states as more processed foods are made there. But now the bowel diseases are becoming common in India.

The researchers say that changes in the gut microbes due to preservatives, highly processed foods, and lifestyle changes have resulted in an increase in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). “IBD used to be common in the western countries. In India, it has become common now,” said Dr. D Nageshwar Reddy, chairman of Asian Institute of Gastroenterology. He informed that elevation in IBD has become one of the causes for diarrhea in Indian Patients and for that the main culprits are the preservatives and additives used in food and also the also the high use of antibiotics by children.

The scientists discovered that the chemicals, also called emulsifiers, alter the makeup of bacteria in the colon, and this, in turn, affects the health of the people. Professor Michael A Kamm, a well-known gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, University of Melbourne, who was part of the IBD conference, informed that the gut micro biome is the cause and cure for gut diseases. So, to avoid IBD, people must opt for natural organic foods which are a healthier choice as it helps avoid complications in the intestine. It is generally known that IBDs are set of disorders that result in inflammation of digestive tract. So, eating too much processed food can lead to altercation in the gut micro biome which may affect the gut and hence increasing the risk of IBD.

Dr. Rupa Banerjee, director of IBD, AIG Hospital, insisted that should make healthier choices, like opting for natural foods, for reducing the risk of IBDs. She suggested that when people are outside, they should avoid fizzy drinks and consider eating natural fruits and vegetables. “It is important that they must opt for normal healthy water and not always the mineral water. These choices in foods ensure that the gut has a combination of different good bacteria which help the body systems function smoothly”, Dr. Banerjee said. The three-day conference on IBD the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology was held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre in Hyderabad.

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