According to new research out of China and Los Angeles, green vegetables and their derivatives, like chlorophyllin, help alleviate symptoms of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar issues.
IBD affects tens of millions of Americans, and has thus created a burden on the medical system. Chronic inflammation, abnormality in autophagy—the body’s process of cleaning out damaged cells to make room for newer, healthier cells—and lysosomal stress are all linked to the condition.
Currently, doctors prescribe immunosuppressants to help combat the effects of IBD, believing that the disease acts most similarly to an autoimmune disorder. But the side effects of artificially suppressing the immune system are numerous and quite serious. Surgery is often the only other option for patients at that point.
Surprise, surprise, though — eating more green veggies has now been scientifically-proven to improve IBD symptoms. In fact, you don’t even have to eat your vegetables in order to feel a lessening of inflammation in the bowel; you can take a chlorophyllin pill and reap the same IBD benefits as a better diet.
Inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, and Crohn’s together affect an estimated 15% of the population
“Consuming green-colored vegetables or green pigment supplement such as chlorophyllin might help people with inflammatory bowel disease,” said Xiaofeng Zheng, Ph.D., of Sichuan University and a co-author of the study.
In the study, researchers discovered that taking an oral supplement reduced colitis and abnormalities in the intestines of mice. Finding a cure (or at least a reliable treatment) for IBD and other serious gastro disorders could transform how many people currently live day to day.
“Spend 10 minutes on the IBS subreddit, and there will be at least one person who is suicidal, posting to that list saying, ‘I can’t take this anymore. This has destroyed my life,’” says Melissa Hunt, a clinical psychologist in Penn’s Department of Psychology.
Symptomatically, inflammatory bowel issues manifest mainly as abdominal pain, and then either constipation, diarrhea, or alternating bouts of both. Many folks who have woken up from mainstream medicine’s lullaby already know that transforming their diets made all the difference. It seems that science is finally admitting that natural nutrition may provide significant relief, too.
“[Unless you treat IBS and IBD], your life gets really small really quickly,” Hunt added.