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Worldwide prevalence of lactose intolerance new
      #367360 - 05/02/12 10:31 AM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Lactose Intolerance is a Global Problem

More adults are lactose intolerant than lactase persistent

Reviewed By: Robert Carlson, M.D
By: Charles Poladian
Published: Apr 26, 2012 01:59 pm

Drinking milk as an adult may seem like a common practice but or most of the world, it is not. The reason is due to most adults stop producing the enzyme lactase which breaks down lactose.

Milk can be quite beneficial and is a source of Vitamin D and calcium. A milk allergy or lactose intolerance can lead to some serious health consequences but there are ways to get past this common problem.
Lactose Intolerance is More Common than Uncommon

According to a 2009 study from the University College London, the ability for adults to break down lactose follows the history of dairy production in Europe. The domestication of cows which led to the cultivation of milk occurred approximately 7,500 years ago. Through natural selection, lactase persistence became common among Europeans.

Lactase persistence is the ability to produce the enzyme lactase throughout one's life. Most individuals stop producing lactase after a child is weaned off of their mother's milk. Because of this, most adults around the world are lactose intolerant.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), between 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. That may seem like a large number, but it is actually quite small compared to stats across the globe.

Lactose intolerance affects approximately 95 percent of Asians, 50 to 80 percent of Hispanics, nearly 100 percent of Native Americans and 60 to 80 percent of African Americans. Lactose intolerance only affects approximately two percent of individuals of Northern European descent.

That means that the ability to break down lactose is not normal rather than the inability to break down lactose. Next time you are drinking milk, think about how strange that is compared to the rest of the world.
Dealing with Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance can lead to stomach pain, gas, cramps, diarrhea or vomiting. The symptoms are not life threatening but can quite problematic which will lead to people avoiding dairy products.
While many individuals have lactose intolerance, that is not the same as a milk allergy.

A milk allergy is a response to a protein and not lactose, which is a sugar. The protein in question is casein and the body reacts much the same way it would to other allergens such as dust mites, grass pollen or tree pollen. Milk allergy may trigger hives, stomach pain, vomiting, wheezing, itchy eyes and anaphylaxis.

Approximately two to five percent of all infants have a milk allergy. Luckily, most grow out of this by the age of three however some children may have a lifelong allergic reaction to milk.

For children with a milk allergy, there are ways to treat the allergy and reduce the symptoms. One approach is through immunotherapy which exposes the allergy sufferer to a small dose of the allergen, gradually increasing the dose over time. This causes the immune system to alter its response to the allergen and reducing symptoms.

A small study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center showed the benefits of dry milk powder to reduce allergy symptoms. The study involved 30 children, 10 children received liquid drops of milk extract under the tongue, 10 children received one gram of milk protein a day and 10 children received two grams of milk protein a day.

Reviewed by:
Robert Carlson, M.D
Review Date:
Monday April 23, 2012
Last Updated:
Thursday April 26, 2012
University College London, "The Origins of Lactase Persistence in Europe"

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, "MILK ALLERGY"
Johns Hopkins Children's Center, "Milk Powder Better than Liquid Drops to Treat Milk Allergies"

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, "Lactose Intolerance: Information for Health Care Providers"
National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Vitamin D"
Office of Dietary Supplements, "Calcium"

Source: dailyRx

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Starchy foods cut bowel cancer risk new
      #367361 - 05/02/12 10:34 AM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Starchy foods cut bowel cancer risk

by: Sheradyn Holderhead
From: The Advertiser
April 25, 2012 11:00PM

EATING more corn, lentils, peas, beans and other legumes can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer, research shows.

These foods are high in resistant starch, a type of fibre that cannot be digested and instead passes through to the bowel where it is fermented - which tends to be lacking in the Australian diet.

CSIRO Food Futures Flagship Dr David Topping said even though Australians eat more dietary fibre than many other western countries, bowel cancer was still the second most commonly reported cancer - what he called the "Australian paradox".

"We have been trying to find out why Australians aren't showing a reduction in bowel cancer rates and we think the answer is that we don't eat enough resistant starch, which is one of the major components of dietary fibre," Dr Topping said of the findings published in the latest issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

"We studied various sources of resistant starch, including corn and wheat, and the results suggest they could all protect against DNA damage in the colon, which is what can cause cancer."

Resistant starch is sometimes called the third type of dietary fibre and is found in legumes, some wholegrain breads and cereals, firm bananas and cooked potatoes, pasta and rice.

The recommended daily intake of resistant starch is about 20g - equivalent to three cups of cooked lentils - almost four times more than the amount consumed in a typical Western diet.

CSIRO Preventive Health Flagship colorectal cancer researcher Dr Trevor Lockett said they had been able to develop a strain of wheat with increased levels of resistant starch.

"If this is introduced to grains grown popularly then there will be an additional set of grains with high levels of resistant starch in commonly consumed foods," he said. "Having a wheat high in resistant starch greatly expands the opportunity for people to eat it because it can be used in bread and other baked goods so more people will be increasing their intake and realising the health benefits.

"It takes about 15 years from the first bowel cancer-initiating DNA damage to full-blown cancer, so the earlier we improve our diets the better."

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Doubts cast on food intolerance testing new
      #367380 - 05/03/12 03:19 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

By Julie Deardorff
Chicago Tribune

According to one lab that tests for "toxic food syndrome," eating green peppers may cause bloating or lethargy. Lemons might trigger headaches. Other common foods like corn, soy, egg whites, whey and chicken "may act like a poison in your body," the website warns.

This company and others promise to detect such hidden problems with blood tests that can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how many foods are tested for.

Other health practitioners may say they can diagnose food sensitivities by assessing muscle strength, by analyzing hair, gastric juice or body tissue, or by reading the body's "energy pathways." Consumers are told that dietary triggers can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome as well as fatigue, attention deficit problems, autoimmune diseases and arthritis.

But allergists and gastroenterologists say that although food intolerance does occur — most of it involving specific food sugars like lactose or fructose — the tests being marketed to consumers have no scientific basis. Blood tests for food sensitivities are prone to false positives that can lead people to eliminate harmless foods from their diets, they say.

The best way to test for the problem is to eliminate various foods from the diet until the symptoms clear, then reintroduce them one at a time, experts say. None of the other tests is recommended by U.S. or European allergy or immunology societies or the National Institutes of Health.

"Blood testing is confusing to patients," said Elana Lavine, a pediatric immunologist in Toronto who now spends part of her time counseling parents whose children have undergone food sensitivity testing. Armed with their itemized results, which list dozens of forbidden foods, they ask her what to feed their children.

Part of the confusion lies in the difference between food intolerances and allergies.

In an allergic reaction, the immune system overreacts to a food by producing an antibody called Immunoglobulin E that causes hives, vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory problems, among other symptoms. To diagnose an allergy, allergists use a blood test that checks for IgE, skin prick testing and other methods. The gold standard is an oral food challenge, which involves eating small doses of the suspect food under medical supervision.

Food intolerances are unpleasant reactions that do not involve the immune system, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. They can be caused by enzyme deficiencies, sensitivities to food additives such as sulfites and monosodium glutamate, or reactions to naturally occurring chemicals.

For example, people who lack an enzyme needed to digest sugar in milk have lactose intolerance. Sulfites used to preserve dried fruit, canned goods and wine trigger asthma attacks in sensitive people.

Adverse reactions to wheat or the protein gluten come in several forms. Celiac disease is an immune system reaction to gluten that causes inflammation in the small intestine. A wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to wheat, almost always caused by the gluten. And gluten sensitivity means a person has symptoms after ingesting gluten but doesn't have either of the other conditions, said Stefano Guandalini, founder and medical director of the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center.

Read more here:

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Vegetarian diet provides good nutrition, health benefits, study finds new
      #367615 - 06/15/12 03:04 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Published June 04, 2012


A vegetarian diet provides adequate nutrition to adults and children and can also reduce health problems, an Australian study has found.

The scientific research review, "Is a vegetarian diet adequate?" published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, puts to rest the long-held belief a vegetarian diet lacks sufficient protein and iron, The Advertiser reported.

The study found those who adopted a vegetarian diet are receiving adequate levels of protein, iron and zinc, and are less likely to suffer from heart disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said there were no significant health differences in babies born to vegetarian mothers and no noticeable differences in the growth of vegetarian children compared to children who consumed meat as part of their diet.

Although vegetarians who do not eat fish may be receiving less Omega 3 fatty acids than considered desirable, vegetarians do not exhibit signs of clinical deficiency.

Deficiencies in vitamin B12 were noted in vegans -- vegetarians who shun any animal based product including milk and eggs -- and as B12 is required to help make red blood cells and to keep nerves functioning, the study recommends they either take a daily supplement or eat more B12-fortified foods.

Stanton said the average meat-eating Australian consumes significantly more protein than required, and the study almost certainly proves it is not necessary to eat meat daily.

"Not everyone needs or wants to become vegetarian, but eating more plant-based meals is a good recipe for our own health and that of the planet," Stanton said.

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High levels of fructose can damage liver new
      #367619 - 06/15/12 03:15 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Ask Dr. K: High levels of fructose can damage liver

Anthony Komaroff

Q I hear that fructose and high-fructose corn syrup are bad for my health. Is fructose worse than other sugars?

A Short answer, yes. I'm not an expert on sugar metabolism, but I'll tell you what the experts at Harvard Medical School say. Fructose and glucose are the most abundant sugars in our diet. Such sugars are a source of energy for our cells.

In the early 1900s, the average American took in only about 15 grams of fructose, also called fruit sugar, a day. Most of it came from eating fruits and vegetables. Today we average four or five times that amount. And almost all of it comes from sweetened foods and beverages such as breakfast cereals, sodas and fruit drinks.

Human beings have been on Earth for tens of thousands of years and our bodies got used to a certain diet. In the last 100 years, our bodies have been exposed to much higher levels of fructose. Common sense might say that such a sudden and significant dietary change might be hard for the body to adjust to. And yes, there is considerable evidence that today's high levels of fructose are harmful.

Virtually every cell in the body can break down glucose for energy. In contrast, about the only cells that can get energy directly from fructose are liver cells. What the liver does with fructose, especially when high levels enter it, has potentially dangerous consequences for our health.

When fructose enters the liver, it goes through changes. One such change is that the liver uses fructose, a carbohydrate, to create fat. Give the liver enough fructose, and tiny fat droplets accumulate in liver cells. This buildup is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It looks like what happens in the livers of people who drink too much alcohol.

The breakdown of fructose in the liver also elevates triglycerides; increases LDL (bad) cholesterol; promotes the buildup of fat around organs; increases blood pressure; and makes tissues insulin-resistant, a precursor to diabetes. None of these changes are good for the arteries and the heart.

There is evidence that people who have more fructose in their diets have higher rates of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. However, fructose has not been proven to be a cause of these conditions.

Still, it's worth cutting back. But don't do it by giving up fruit. Fruit is good for you. It's only a minor source of fructose for most people. Instead, cut back on refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. For starters that means limiting sugar-sweetened drinks, pastries and breakfast cereals.

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Buddhist mindful eating practices enter the mainstream new
      #367620 - 06/15/12 03:17 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Buddhist mindful eating practices enter the mainstream

Monday May 28, 2012, 6:30 AM

The Record

They're the antithesis of the lunchroom coffee klatsch.

A group of employees at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood have recently started a weekly lunch date to eat together in silence, drawing on Buddhist meditation practices.

Gathering in a wordless conference room on a recent afternoon, Linda Buckley said it took her more than 30 minutes to finish half of her chicken salad sandwich. "Eating quietly is a different experience. It's really slowing down and noticing each bite. You can really be attentive to the flavors, textures and smells," said Buckley, a registered dietitian who spearheaded the mindful eating lunch group.
Tips for beginners

Linda Buckley, a nutritionist at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, offers some tips on practicing mindful eating:

Before taking that first bite, take one deep breath.
Chew slowly. It doesn't have to be 40 times, but remember to breathe and take your time chewing.
Practice eating in silence, with no television, music or conversation.
What should you be thinking about ? Nothing in particular. Just focus on the moment and the sensation of tasting the food.
It takes 20 minutes until your stomach sends the message to your brain that you're full. Eating slowly will allow you to better intuit when you're full.

For more information:

The Center for Mindful Eating offers a basic introduction:
Zen Garland, a Buddhist and interfaith spiritual center in Airmont, N.Y.:

Buddhists have been practicing mindfulness — being fully aware and in the moment — while eating for thousands of years. But in recent times, these principles have entered culture and medicine. The Center for Mindful Eating, a national nonprofit organization backed by doctors, psychologists and nutritionists, seeks to educate the public that how you eat is as important as what you eat. Slowing down and eating without distraction can help fight stress, overeating and indigestion, and is particularly useful for diabetics and cardiac patients, said Buckley.

Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn, the author of "Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life," advocates chewing your food up to 40 bites and stopping eating when you're 80 percent full.

Oprah has her own mindful eating coach, the author Geneen Roth, and has touted the movement on her show. At Google's campus in Palo Alto, Calif., a monthly, hour-long, silent, vegan lunch is especially popular among its engineers.

For local Buddhist priest Roshi Paul Genki Kahn, the challenge is applying these ancient principles to modern life. "People should not just ape the mindful methods used in a monastery," said Kahn, a Franklin Lakes native who founded the Zen Garland spiritual center in Airmont, N.Y., last fall. Sharing meaningful conversation, cooking and shopping together are ways of bringing these principles into households, he said.

Throughout the year, the center hosts retreats where students can practice traditional Zen rituals, meditate, eat together and perform chores. "Zen is the realization that the sacred is in each and every moment of life — in the most ordinary actions like eating, sleeping, even sweeping the floors."

During their meditative dining ritual, Oryoki — which means "just enough"— participants seated on floor pillows eat from a set of small lacquer bowls while chanting prayers of gratitude. After the meal is finished, they pour water into the bowls, drink a small amount of the liquid and sprinkle the remainder outside on plants. "Nothing is wasted," said Kahn. "We end as we begin."

Fred and Morrie Shafer of New Milford try to practice mindfulness at most meals, but admit it can be challenging with a 4-year-old daughter. No televisions or screens are allowed at their dinner table, and they begin each meal observing a few seconds of silence. On a recent evening they had a couple over for dinner, and they engaged in a conversation about the source of their homegrown garden salad. "It makes you more self-aware," said Fred Shafer. "It's a different way of looking at it. I think you have better digestion and are more relaxed."

Continue reading this story:

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Milk fat may lead to bowel diseases by altering gut bacteria new
      #367639 - 06/19/12 04:25 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Milk fat may lead to bowel diseases by altering gut bacteria

Saturated milk fats commonly found in Western processed foods could be leading to changes in the gut ecosystem that result in higher risks of inflammatory bowel diseases, warn researchers.

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Atkins Low Carb-High Protein Diets May Put Heart at Risk new
      #367699 - 06/27/12 02:36 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: June 27, 2012
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Consuming a low carbohydrate-high protein diet -- like the Atkins diet -- may be associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease in women, researchers found.

Decreases in carbohydrate intake and increases in protein intake, as well as in a score combining carbohydrate and protein intake, were all associated with significantly greater risks of incident cardiovascular disease events in young Swedish women, according to Pagona Lagiou, MD, PhD, of the University of Athens in Greece, and colleagues.

The findings, which were reported online in BMJ, "do not answer questions concerning possible beneficial short-term effects of low carbohydrate or high protein diets in the control of body weight or insulin resistance," the authors wrote.

"Instead, they draw attention to the potential for considerable adverse effects on cardiovascular health of these diets when they are used on a regular basis, without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates (complex versus refined) or the source of proteins (plant versus animal)," they wrote.

Low carb-high protein diets have become popular because of the short-term effects on weight control, but concerns have been raised about the potential cardiovascular effects over the long term. Studies exploring the issue have given mixed results, with a U.S. study showing no relationship between such a diet and rates of ischemic heart disease.

But three European studies showed a greater risk of cardiovascular mortality with such a diet.

Lagiou and colleagues examined data from the Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health Cohort, a prospective study conducted among women living in the healthcare region of Uppsala. The current analysis included 43,396 women, ages 30 to 49 at baseline, who completed a comprehensive questionnaire on lifestyle and dietary factors, as well as medical history. They were followed for an average of 15.7 years.

The researchers scored each participant according to their carbohydrate and protein consumption. Carbohydrate intake was scored from 1 (very high) to 10 (very low). Protein intake was scored from 1 (very low) to 10 (very high). A combined carbohydrate-protein score ranged from 2 (very high consumption of carbs and very low consumption of protein) to 20 (very low consumption of carbs and very high consumption of protein).

During follow-up, there were 1,270 incident cardiovascular events, which included ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and peripheral arterial disease.

After adjustment for energy intake, saturated and unsaturated fat intake, and numerous cardiovascular risk factors, each one-point decrease in carb intake was associated with a relative 4% increase in cardiovascular events (95% CI 0% to 8%). A one-point increase in protein intake also was associated with a relative 4% increase in events (95% CI 2% to 6%).

Each two-point increase in the low carbohydrate-high protein score -- equivalent to a 20-gram decrease in daily carb intake and 5-gram increase in daily protein intake -- was associated with a relative 5% increase in cardiovascular events (95% CI 2% to 8%).

There was a suggestion that the associations were stronger for women whose protein came mostly from animal sources, but the test for interaction did not reach statistical significance for nearly all of the individual outcomes.

"Although these results are based on an observational study, their biological plausibility seems self evident," according to Anna Floegel, MPH, of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, and Tobias Pischon, MD, MPH, of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch.

"A low carbohydrate diet implies low consumption of whole-grain foods, fruits, and starchy vegetables and consequently reduced intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A high protein diet may indicate higher intake of red and processed meat and thus higher intake of iron, cholesterol, and saturated fat," they explained in an accompanying editorial.

"These single factors have previously been linked to a higher risk of major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, in observational studies, so it is not surprising that this combination of risk factors is linked to a higher incidence of disease and mortality," they said.

Lagiou and colleagues acknowledged that their study was limited by the possible misclassification of diet based on participant self-report only at the beginning of the study, the lack of information on cardiovascular medication use and blood cholesterol levels, and the possibility of residual confounding.

The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society and the Swedish Research Council.

The study authors and the editorialists reported no conflicts of interest.

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Green tea drinkers show lower cancer risks new
      #368377 - 10/31/12 11:37 AM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Greete drinking linked to abnormal heart rhythm

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK ' Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:58pm EDT

(Reuters Health) - Older women who regularly drink green tea may have slightly lower risks of colon, stomach and throat cancers than women who make no time for tea, a large study suggests.

Researchers found that of more than 69,000 Chinese women followed for a decade, those who drank green tea at least three times a week were 14 percent less likely to develop a cancer of the digestive system.

That mainly meant lower odds of colon, stomach and esophageal cancers.

No one can say whether green tea, itself, is the reason. Green-tea lovers are often more health-conscious in general.

The study did try to account for that, said senior researcher Dr. Wei Zheng, who heads epidemiology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

None of the women smoked or drank alcohol regularly. And the researchers collected information on their diets, exercise habits, weight and medical history.

Even with those things factored in, women's tea habits remained linked to their cancer risks, Zheng noted.

Still, he said in an email, this type of study cannot prove cause-and-effect.

What's more, past studies have so far come to conflicting findings on whether green-tea drinkers really do have lower cancer risks. All of those studies are hampered by the fact that it's hard to isolate the effect of a single food in a person's diet on the risk of cancer.

Really, the only types of studies that can give strong evidence of cause-and-effect are clinical trials, wherein people would be randomly assigned to use green tea in some form, or not.

But few clinical trials have looked at whether green tea can cut cancer risk, and their results have been inconsistent, according to the National Cancer Institute.

There is "strong evidence" from lab research - in animals and in human cells - that green tea has the potential to fight cancer, Zheng's team writes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Green tea contains certain antioxidant chemicals - particularly a compound known as EGCG - that may ward off the body-cell damage that can lead to cancer and other diseases.

For their study, Zheng and his colleagues used data from a long-running health study of over 69,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women. More than 19,000 were considered regular green-tea drinkers. (They had the beverage at least three times per week.)

Over 11 years, 1,255 women developed a cancer of the digestive system. In general, the risks were somewhat lower when a woman drank green tea often and for a long time.

For example, women who said they'd regularly had green tea for at least 20 years were 27 percent less likely than non-drinkers to develop any digestive system cancer. And they were 29 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer, specifically.

None of that proves you should start drinking green tea to thwart cancer.

Women who downed a lot of green tea in this study were also younger, ate more fruits and vegetables, exercised more and had higher-income jobs. The researchers adjusted their data for all those differences - but, they write, it's not possible to perfectly account for everything.

If you want to start drinking green tea, it's considered safe in moderate amounts, says the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. But the tea and its extracts do contain caffeine, which some people may need to avoid.

Green tea also contains small amounts of vitamin K, which means it could interfere with drugs that prevent blood clotting, like warfarin. Since many older people are on multiple medications, it's wise for them to talk with their doctors before using green tea as a health tonic.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November, 2012.

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Taming Stomachs With Fodmap Diet Spurs $8 Billion Market
      #368378 - 10/31/12 11:39 AM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Bloomberg News

Taming Stomachs With Fodmap Diet Spurs $8 Billion Market

By Jason Gale on October 29, 2012

Sue Shepherd says she never expected to become famous for taming cantankerous stomachs.

The 38-year-old Australian dietitian invented a food regimen with a bizarre name in her early 20s to relieve symptoms of bloating and stomach cramps. It's now being adopted internationally, changing the way doctors manage a set of digestive troubles known as irritable bowel syndrome.

Shepherd initially set out to help the 1 percent of people with a gluten intolerance causing celiac disease. She found even those without the condition felt better when they avoided the grain-protein and foods containing certain sugars named Fodmaps, an abbreviation for potentially tough-to-absorb molecules. Shepherd's diets low in gut irritants have spurred an $8.3 billion market, encouraging the likes of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) to introduce products devoted to food intolerance.

"This approach has really revolutionized the way we treat a common condition," said Jason Tye-Din, a gastroenterologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and celiac researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "The significance has been realized around the world."

Screening for celiac disease in Australia alone has increased 25 percent over the past four years, according to Tye- Din, who runs two of Australia's four celiac disease clinics. That's bolstered demand for gluten-free foods and other products for so-called functional gastrointestinal disorders.

"Gluten-free food is flourishing," said Ewa Hudson, head of health and wellness food and beverages research at London- based Euromonitor International Ltd., who predicts retail sales of food intolerance products will reach $10.5 billion worldwide by 2017, especially as more grocery chains carry them.
Food 'Revolution'

The market in developed nations "has undergone a revolution," Hudson said in an e-mail. "Prior to that, gluten- free had been the preserve of pharmacies and specialist health- food stores."

Abbott and Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (MJN) have about 7 percent each of the global food-intolerance market by value, according to Euromonitor. Abbott, which sells intolerance products under the Vital and Ensure labels, introduced a limited-ingredient, gluten-free nutrition bar called Perfectly Simple in June.

"We expect to launch an additional 20 products and formulations this year and have more than 30 clinical studies," Abbott said Oct. 17, when it reported third-quarter earnings.

Shepherd said she's sold almost 200,000 copies of her eight cookbooks, which include Irresistibles for the Irritable, that help people choose bowel-friendlier foods. The recipes avoid sugars that aren't well absorbed in some people's bowels, found in products ranging from onions to yoghurts.
Too Much Gas

These foods can cause bloating, excess gas, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea in some people -- hallmarks of irritable bowel syndrome experienced by at least 10 to 15 percent of adults, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, a research and education group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"I pieced together what was an experimental diet," said Shepherd, who began teaching the regimen in her private dietetics practice in early 1997. "I wasn't randomly picking these foods -- they all had something in common: they were all potentially not absorbed in the small intestine."

Peter Gibson, gastroenterology professor at Melbourne's Monash University, helped coin the term Fodmap to describe the molecules people with irritable bowel syndrome have difficulty stomaching -- fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols found in dozens of everyday things from apples and wheat to milk, high-fructose corn syrup, and sugarless chewing gum.
'Fell Off My Chair'

Shepherd, who has celiac disease, tested her diet on 25 people, preparing all their meals herself for 22 weeks in a study that formed part of a PhD thesis at Monash. She found the diet quelled symptoms in at least 70 percent of participants, compared with 12 percent given a placebo meal resembling typical Australian fare.

"I honestly nearly fell off my chair because it looked just too good to be true," said Shepherd, who now employs 13 dietitians in a practice that sees about 4,000 people a year. "I still pinch myself at how successful it is and how big it's become. It's literally gone global."

The research drew attention to the role of diet in medicine and gastroenterological diseases especially, said Josh Butt, a gastroenterology fellow at Monash.

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