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August 13, 2003

Hello to everyone -

This newsletter goes out with a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has voluntarily subscribed. Your support is overwhelming and your letters of personal encouragement are so touching.  I can't even begin to show my appreciation, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart. (Subscribers will have an extra special thank you sent their way next week!)

Today's newsletter recipe features the glory of ripe summer fruit, with a delicious (and beautiful!) Ginger Nectarine Cheesecake. While traditional cheesecakes are tremendously high in fat and dairy triggers, our version eliminates these digestive risks - but keeps every bit of their luscious creaminess. If you've never cooked with silken tofu before, you won't believe how easily it's transformed into a rich, smooth cheesecake with a delectably light texture. Freshly grated gingerroot (and a surprise gingersnap crust) add an unexpected flavor twist, and sliced fresh nectarines lend the sweetness of summer. The combination of flavors is positively electric!

If you've given up cheesecakes for desserts, be prepared for a delightful surprise. With a very low fat content and the added bonus of ginger (a terrific digestive aid), plus heart-healthy soy, this recipe is not only safe for IBS, it's downright healthy. Most importantly, it's absolutely scrumptious. Enjoy!

As always, the IBS newsletter is also chock full of articles on the latest GI health research, news, events, and help for the IBS community. I hope you find this issue both delicious and enlightening!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

Ginger Nectarine Cheesecake

Makes one 10" cake, 14-16 Servings

1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 t molasses
1 T dark corn syrup
1/2 t ground ginger

Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly spray 10" non-stick heavy-gauge springform pan with cooking oil. Mix all crust ingredients together thoroughly and press firmly into pan. Bake 5-7 minutes. Cool on rack.

25 ounces silken firm tofu (a few ounces over or under is fine)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
grated zest from 2 lemons
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 T finely diced crystallized ginger
1 T freshly grated gingerroot with juice, strings and peel removed (takes about a 3" piece of fresh ginger)
2/3 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar, to taste
4 organic egg whites
1/8 t salt

2 large ripe nectarines, unpeeled, thinly sliced
apricot or peach jelly, for brushing

Blend all filling ingredients except egg whites and salt until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold tofu mixture into egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. Pour into baked crust and bake for 17-20 minutes, until just barely set (filling will still be jiggly and not set at the very center).

Cool on rack, then carefully top with fanned-out nectarine slices in concentric circles. In a microwave heat a few spoonfuls of the jelly in a small bowl, checking and stirring every 20 seconds or so, until it's a thin and spreadable consistency. With a pastry brush, brush melted jelly over nectarine slices (or, with a teaspoon carefully spoon and spread melted jelly over slices). Chill cake until topping is set. Run a long thin knife around edge of pan, and carefully remove sides. Serve chilled.

For more fabulous recipes, click here for the IBS Recipe Board! New IBS Support Group in Payson, Arizona!
I'm thrilled to announce the debut of a brand-new IBS support group in Payson, AZ! This group is led by Michaela and David Leonard; David is an IBS patient. Meetings are scheduled for the last Friday of each month at 5:30 p.m., at the Payson Public Library. The group will emphasize how to prevent symptoms with the IBS diet.

This new group is supported by two local physicians, Dr. Cynthia Booth (ob/gyn) and Dr. James W. Schouten (family practice). The doctors will address the medical issues of IBS.

Michaela and David are very excited to be able to help other people get their lives back, and I would like to thank them for their terrific efforts!

Their new group has its very own message forum on the IBS Support Boards, so if you're in the Payson area and would like to join the group, please come post.

If you're not in Payson and would like to join an IBS support group, please check the boards for a group in your area. If you're ready to start an IBS support group in your hometown, please let us know and we'll provide your group with their own message forum and try to offer other assistance as well.  NOTE: For all article links, please refresh your browser page if the article does not appear when you click on the link. For Medscape and Cardiosource articles you may have to register in order to view articles (registration is free).

Bacteria in Milk Linked to Crohn's Disease and Possibly IBS
Researchers have found a "highly significant" link between Crohn's disease and a mycobacterium that can be passed to humans in milk. St. George's Hospital Medical School in London said they had detected Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) bacteria in 92% of ileocolonic biopsy specimens from patients with Crohn's disease but in only 26% of patients in a control group. An unexpected finding of the research showed that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were also infected with the MAP bug. Recent work from Sweden shows that people with IBS have inflamed gut nerves. There is a real chance that the MAP bug may be inflaming people's gut nerves and causing IBS. Click here for more information...

Against the Grain: The Growing Awareness of Celiac
Dr. Alessio Fasano, co-director of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research, focuses on spreading a truth among primary care physicians. Celiac disease actually is one of the most common lifelong disorders in the United States -- American doctors just have not been trained to look for it. This task -- making physicians more aware about celiac disease -- runs counter to much of American conventional wisdom about the disorder's incidence. After screening more than 13,000 people in 32 states, Dr. Fasano found that one in 133 Americans is at risk for celiac disease. Those figures demonstrate a tremendous increase from the one in 4,700 Americans who had been diagnosed. Estimates of the prevalence of celiac disease, also called celiac sprue, now range from one in 100 to one in 300.

Celiac disease can be suspected if a patient complains of chronic diarrhea that's been going on for several weeks; has other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, thyroid disorders, some types of arthritis or lupus, or if they have a family history of those disorders; or is anemic and the condition cannot be easily explained. But celiac can be defined even more broadly, with vomiting, bloating or constipation, or symptoms that have nothing to do with the gastrointestinal system, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, joint pain, osteoporosis, depression or miscarriage. Many people with the disorder go undiagnosed for years. The typical time between the onset and diagnosis in the United States is 11 to 13 years. Sometimes the disease is triggered by severe emotional stress, surgery, pregnancy or viral infections. Click here for more information...

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Versus Education for IBS
Studies of psychological treatments and antidepressants in functional bowel disorders (FBD) are methodologically limited. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical efficacy and safety of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) against education (EDU), and desipramine (DES), an antidepressant, against placebo (PLA) in female patients with moderate to severe FBD (irritable bowel syndrome, functional abdominal pain, painful constipation, and unspecified FBD). Clinically meaningful subgroups to these treatments were also evaluated.  Click here for more information...

Gut Feelings: The Surprising Link Between Mood and Digestion
In the past -- back when scientists believed the mind and the body operated as separate entities -- some physicians wrote off digestive distress with no sign of organic disease as being "all in the head." But in recent years, that wall has crumbled. Doctors now see intricate links between the nervous system and the digestive system. The two realms constantly exchange streams of chemical and electrical messages, and anything that affects one is likely to affect the other. The connections between the two systems are so tight that scientists often refer to them as one entity: the brain-gut axis. For people suffering from persistent digestive troubles unconnected to disease, such as IBS, research suggests that reducing stress, depression, and anxiety may go a long way toward calming the gut. Click here for more information...

Milk Consumption in Constipation and Young Children
A recent study concluded that the mean daily consumption of cows milk was significantly higher in infants and young children with chronic constipation and anal fissures. Additionally, shorter duration of breastfeeding and early bottle feeding with cows milk may play a role in the development of constipation and anal fissure in infants and young children.  Click here for more information...

Looking for the latest IBS research and news?
Click here for the IBS Newsletter Archive

The IBS Research Library
"How can I find reputable GI health research studies without hunting all over the web?"

In response to countless reader requests for a fast and easy way to keep current with IBS and digestive health findings, I've created the IBS Research Library. This is an archive of news articles, clinical studies, and research related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and digestive health. Though the library includes a wealth of current academic medical investigations and findings, the focus is on studies that document valid, tangible sources of help for IBS symptoms.

The library is updated regularly and organized by relevant categories, including:

General IBS / Bowel Dysfunction
Alternative Therapy (Yoga, Acupuncture, etc.)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Psychological / Psychiatric
Gender / Hormones
Herbs, Probiotics, and Supplements
Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy

All articles include full attribution and copyright information, with website origin link if applicable, so additional research can be pursued. Library articles are selected from reputable sources only, and typically report findings from double-blind studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

If you are interested in a specific area of digestive health research, please let me know and I'll try to add relevant articles to the library. If you have a specific article you'd like to see included in the library, please forward the information to me and I'll post the research. Heather & Company is dedicated to serving people with IBS. Our mission is to offer education, services, and products that allow people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications. We currently offer the books
Eating for IBS and First Year IBS, web site resources, seminars and classes, and Heather Cooks!, a healthy cooking show on the internet and television. We also host the only patient-expert moderated IBS Message Boards on the internet with forums for diet, recipes, hypnotherapy, yoga, plus Crohn's and Colitis. We will soon have other IBS services and products available. Heather Van Vorous, an IBS sufferer since age 9, is the company founder and president.

Our websites receive over 900,000 unique visitors each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 17,000 people twice monthly. Every month over one thousand new people join our mailing list. Heather & Company and Heather Van Vorous offer the following...

The world's best-selling and best-reviewed books for IBS

The internet's only IBS newsletter

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Developed the first and only comprehensive IBS dietary guidelines and recipes

Excerpts and recipes from Eating for IBS licensed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Included in 4th edition of Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare

Clinical research study based on Eating for IBS diet underway in the private gastroenterology practice of Dr. Noel Hershfield in Calgary, Canada

Dietary information used by the Radiology Department of the Cancer Centre in Birmingham, England, for treatment of radiation enteritis

Dietary information featured in Today's Dietitian 2003 cover story, "IBS: Suffering in Silence"

Information requested by gastroenterologists, family physicians, and dietitians across the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia for IBS patient distribution

The "Authorized Expert" for Diet & Nutrition at the IBS Association and IBS Self Help Group forums

Finalist for an IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award 2001 - Eating for IBS

#17 on the Library Journal's Cookbook Bestseller list for 2000 - Eating for IBS

Work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs.

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Thousands of  personal thank you letters received from readers worldwide for IBS dietary information

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Sponsorship opportunities are available for the message boards and this newsletter for companies and/or products that have been legitimately established as helpful for digestive disorders. Please click here to contact us for information.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER - This email is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Any application of the recommendations in this email is at the reader's discretion. Heather Van Vorous and Heather & Company are not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of this email and/or any web site(s) linked to/from it. Readers should consult their own physicians concerning the recommendations in this email.

© 2003 Heather and Company. All rights reserved. BBB Business Review