Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel condition that can be incredibly painful, may go into full remission under a plant-based diet, at least according to the results of a recently published case study. The case study involved a man in late 20s who suffered from Crohn’s disease before switching to a plant-based diet free of processed foods, after which point the disease went into remission and healing was experienced.
The findings were recently published in the journal Nutrients, where researchers explain that more than a year of intravenous treatment had not been able to send this man’s condition into remission. However, positive changes took place when the unnamed patient switched to a plant-based diet over a 40-day period of religious observation.
During that time, the patient’s symptoms, including severe abdominal pain and fatigue, completely disappeared. Due to that change, the patient decided to stick with the plant-based diet, which is described in the study as completely devoid of animal products as well as processed foods.
The diet included legumes (beans, lentils, peas, etc), fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. According to researchers, the patient’s Crohn’s disease entered into full remission during that time and tests found ‘complete mucosal healing.’ The unnamed man was able to stop taking his medication and did not experience any relapses while on the diet.
The precise reasons for remission on a plant-based diet remain unclear, but researchers point out that the higher fiber intake — which promotes beneficial gut bacteria — may be a contributing factor. Past research has found that processed foods and meats, particularly red meat, has an inflammatory effect on the body, which may exacerbate the inflammatory condition.