intake of ultra-processed food, Canadian researchers have shown, is associated
with an increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
In their prospective
cohort study published online in The BMJ, Neeraj Narula, M.D., M.P.H.,
from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues
investigated 116,087 adults aged 35 to 70 years in 21 low-, middle-, and
high-income countries across seven geographic regions to examine the
association between intake of ultra-processed food and the risk for IBD.
researchers found that 467 participants developed incident IBD during a median
follow-up of 9.7 years (90 with Crohn disease; 377 with ulcerative colitis). A
higher intake of ultra-processed food was associated with an increased risk for
incident IBD (hazard ratios, 1.82 and 1.67 for at least five and one to four
servings a day, respectively, compared with less than one serving per day) after
adjustment for potential confounding factors.
hazard ratios for IBD were seen in association with different subgroups of
ultra-processed foods, including soft drinks, refined sweetened foods, salty
snacks, and processed meat.
results were seen for both Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis.
white meat, unprocessed red meat, dairy, starch, and fruit, vegetables, and
legumes were not found to be associated with development of IBD, this study
suggests that it might not be the food itself that confers this risk but rather
the way the food is processed or ultra-processed,” the authors suggested.
Narula et al: Association of ultra-processed food intake with risk of
inflammatory bowel disease: prospective cohort study; https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1554