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Can intermittent fasting help those who live with Crohn's disease?

A UBCO researcher is looking into whether intermittent fasting can help people living with Crohn’s or colitis.

Intermittent fasting, where a person restricts the intake of any calories for a select time period, has become a trendy and popular method of controlling weight and improving overall health.

And while it may not be for everyone, a UBC Okanagan researcher wants to know if intermittent fasting could help people who live with Crohn's disease.

Dr. Natasha Haskey is a registered dietitian and a researcher with UBC Okanagan's Centre for Microbiome and Inflammation Research. She wants to recruit study participants who live with Crohn's and would be willing to try intermittent fasting for a select time period.

Can you explain the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting has become a very popular weight loss method; however, its benefits have been shown to extend beyond weight loss. For example, recent research has found that intermittent fasting can improve metabolism, lower blood sugar levels and lessen inflammation.

Although there are many different types of fasting, we plan to study a 16:8 plan, which means you consume your food in an eight-hour window and avoid eating for the remaining 16 hours of the day. Much of the 16-hour fast is when we are sleeping so it is a feasible plan for everyone.

What do you hope to accomplish with your study?

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. While symptoms can vary among patients, common symptoms--which are very debilitating--include persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and pain. In addition to medication, diet is recognized as a way to help manage symptoms.

There is no research that exists at this time on how intermittent fasting will impact Crohn's disease making this study novel and exciting. If we can demonstrate the ability to help people with Crohn's, it could provide another option for Crohn's patients who are overweight to help manage their disease, reduce the likelihood of a disease flareup, and prevent other complications.

And you're specifically looking for study participants with Crohn's?

We are looking for participants in the Okanagan and Calgary area between the ages of 18 to 75 years with a body mass index of above 25. So someone who is overweight.

What can participants expect from the study?

This is a 12-week study that requires two in-person study visits, and the remainder of the study requirements can be completed from home. Participants will have personalized access to a registered dietitian for 12 weeks.

To find out more:

Okanagan area: Natasha Haskey Tel: 250 258 7455 [email protected]

Calgary area: Munazza Yousef Tel: 403 592 5231 [email protected]

The post Can intermittent fasting help those who live with Crohn's disease? appeared first on UBC Okanagan News.

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