Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Crohn's disease and the LOFFLEX diet

A short post this one following a very interesting series airing here in the UK called the Food Hospital. 'Let food be your medicine' was the mantra of a certain Greek gentleman called Hippocrates (or perhaps according to Bill and Ted, 'Hippo-crates') and that is exactly what this series is suggesting.

In the programmes so far we have seen conditions ranging from migraine to obesity discussed. Tonight's programme featured a particularly brave young woman called Laura who presented with quite a serious case of Crohn's disease. For those who want more information about Crohn's see here. The long and short of it is inflammation, discomfort and quite a few 'peripheral' symptoms; no recognised cure and a life of medication and possibly surgery. Certainly one of the more serious gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.

Anyhow true to the name, the Food Hospital investigated whether it was possible the manage some of the symptoms of Crohn's disease through dietary changes. The plan in question is highlighted here and included a 3-step dietary intervention beginning with a cessation of food intake and reliance instead on a liquid feed containing all the necessary nutrients, followed a few weeks later by the implementation of the LOFFLEX (LOw Fibre, Fat Limited EXclusion) diet finally followed by dietary challenge/rechallenge in the hope of identifying problem foods related to symptoms.

It was interesting to see that some success was reported whilst on the regime in terms of symptom reduction following a flare-up. This is not proof of anything but certainly an interesting case study (n=1). Looking at the scientific literature for the LOFFLEX diet, things seem to be a little bit sparse at the moment. I found this trial from Addenbrookes Hospital which was the first place to look at the diet (I think). I also noted an interesting name on the authorship list, Prof. John Hunter, who is quite an expert on all things gastroenterology and particularly a role for gut bacteria in various bowel conditions.

I await more research on this very interesting regime and its potential applications to other conditions.

1 comment:

  1. Currently undergoing the Elemental Diet. Start on the Lofflex next week. Anyone looking for a day by day, step by step guide :