Gut Health

I attended a GI Conference in Toronto in early November, “Meeting of the Minds.” This year the focus was on our environment related to our gut flora. It seems that there are villains, sticky bacteria, and heroes, known as butyrate producers. Sticky bacteria which produce toxins are much more difficult for the body to shed from the gut and may result in chronic inflammation. Good gut bacteria release butyrate which stops the immune system from attacking the gut endothelium reducing chronic inflammation such as in Crohns and Colitis.

They recommend staying away from high animal fat foods, emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners, and gluten/wheat, and consuming more fibres and certain starches. In the studies that were presented, dietary emulsifiers impacted mouse gut microbiota promoting Colitis. Consumption of dietary fibre from fruit caused a 40 percent reduction in the risk of Crohn’s Disease. It is important to remember that all fruits and vegetables should be peeled and all seeds removed. The adverse effect of a high fat diet on Colitis is dependent on the type of fat consumed. Olive oil is protective and increases clearance of invasive microbes. Diets that are high in anhydrous milk fat and corn oil result in translocated gram negative proteobacteria microbes and systemic inflammation. A diet with a higher component of olive oil, butter or coconut oil and fish while limiting vegetable oils, promotes a microbiome that supports balanced immunity and is thus beneficial to IBD patients.

Many of these recommendations are the result of new and ongoing clinical trials and may not be accepted as standard of care yet.


Evelyn Gilkinson is the Nurse Lead for Charlton Health Inc. Before devoting herself solely to Infusing Biologics, Gilkinson worked at Toronto General Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre (Adelaide, Australia), and the London Health Science Centre in Thoracic Step Down, neonate, pediatric and adult Intensive Care, Recovery Room, and Emergency Medicine. Evelyn has done research for The Canadian Cervical Spine Study and with the AIM Health Group. She established the first out-of Hospital Infusion Centres in London and Waterloo. For the last twelve years, Evelyn was the Nurse Supervisor for South Western Ontario for many infusion sites until joining the Charlton team in the summer of 2016.

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