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Good Eats and Bad: 6 GI Issues in the News

Good Eats and Bad: 6 GI Issues in the News

  • Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.—Hippocrates

  • 1. The Sweet and Sour of Sugar. Dietary sugar guidelines do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence, according to a systematic review published in The Annals of Internal Medicine. However, public health experts heaped criticism on the review because the authors have ties to the food and sugar industries.

  • 2. Red Meat Boosts Diverticulitis Risk. Intake of red meat, especially unprocessed red meat, is linked with increased diverticulitis risk. Substituting poultry or fish for 1 serving of unprocessed red meat per day decreases the risk.

  • 3. Prevent Liver Disease with Breast Milk Antioxidant. Supplementation with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a natural antioxidant found in soil and enriched in human breast milk, protected offspring from Western-style diet–induced developmental programming of hepatic lipotoxicity, particularly during pregnancy and lactation, in a mouse study. PQQ may help slow the advancing epidemic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the next generation.

  • 4. Fish Oil Supplements and Omega-3s May Trim Heart Problems. Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid may be associated with reducing coronary heart disease risk. A greater benefit was observed among higher-risk populations in RCTs.

  • 5. Genes and Crohn Disease. In a study designed to better characterize how genetic variation influences Crohn disease prognosis, researchers concluded that the genetic contribution to prognosis is largely independent of the contribution to disease susceptibility and points to a biology of prognosis that could provide new therapeutic opportunities.

  • 6. Mediterranean Diet Retains Brain Volume. Older persons who followed a Mediterranean diet—which includes large amounts of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans, and cereal grains—retained more brain volume over a 3-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely. Contrary to the results of earlier studies, eating more fish and less meat was not related to changes in the brain.

A controversial review of dietary sugar guidelines, a study of red meat and diverticulitis, an antioxidant found in breast milk to prevent liver disease—we offer these and other highlights of recent food and GI studies of interest to primary care physicians.

Scroll through the slides above for key findings. Original sources are below.



1. The Sweet and Sour of Sugar


2. Red Meat Boosts Diverticulitis Risk


3. Prevent Liver Disease with Breast Milk Antioxidant


4. Fish Oil Supplements and Omega 3s May Trim Heart Problems


5. Genes and Crohn Disease


6. Mediterranean Diet Retains Brain Volume


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