The changes in the gut microbes due to highly processed foods, lifestyle changes, and environmental factors have seen an increase in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).
‘Emulsifiers or smoothing agents used in food to give a creamy texture can break down the heavy mucus that lines the gut and prevents bacteria from coming into contact with gut cells. In such cases, the bacteria cause inflammation in the gut, which can also lead to changes in metabolism.’
Dr D Nageshwar Reddy, chairman of Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, said, "IBD used to be common in the western countries. In India, it has become common now. Increase in IBD has become one of the causes of diarrhea in Indian patients."
The major culprits are preservatives used in food and high use of antibiotics by children. Professor Michael A Kamm, gastroenterologist, University of Melbourne explained, "The gut microbiome is the cause and cure of gut diseases. To avoid IBD, people must opt for natural organic foods which are a healthier choice. This helps avoid complications in the intestine."
The alternation in the gut microbiome is because of increased intake of processed foods which are leading to the changes in the gut thereby affecting the immune system and leading to auto-immune diseases.
Dr Rupa Banerjee, director of IBD, AIG Hospital, added, "People have to make healthier choices like opting for natural foods. When they are outside they can avoid fizzy drinks and opt for 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."