In the examination of the data fom January 2004 to June 2005 of 796 consecutive patients referred for total colonoscopy to 17 physicians included age, gender, presence and localization of diverticula. This population was compared with a cohort of 133 consecutive patients who were admitted for colonic diverticular bleeding, showed that the prevalence of colonic diverticula increased from less than 10% in adults under 40 to about 75% in those over 75 years. Of these patients, nearly one third presented with right-sided involvement(1).
A. Diet to prevent diverticulitis
1. High-fibre dietary
Although many professionals suggested that high-fibre diet is associated to decreased risk of diverticulitis(44a), in the study to assess the treatment of diverticular disease or the prevention of recurrent diverticulitis with a high-fibre diet, showed that high-quality evidence for a high-fibre diet in the treatment of diverticular disease is lacking, and most recommendations are based on inconsistent level 2 and mostly level 3 evidence. Nevertheless, high-fibre diet is still recommended in several guidelines(44).
2. Low-residue diet
Low-residue diets have been recommended for diverticulosis because of a concern that indigestible nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn could enter, block, or irritate a diverticulum and result in diverticulitis and possibly increase the risk of perforation. According to the study by the Division of Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic, indicated that there is no evidence supporting such a practice. In contrast, dietary fiber supplementation has been advocated to prevent diverticula formation and recurrence of symptomatic diverticulosis, although this is based mostly on low-quality observational studies(45).
3. Probotics and fruit and vegetables
According to the study by University Hospital Lozano Blesa, changes in intestinal microflora could be one of the putative mechanisms responsible for low-grade inflammation. In patients with uncomplicated diverticulosis, a diet abundant in fruit and vegetables is recommended. The current therapeutic approaches in preventing recurrence of symptoms are based on nonabsorbable antibiotics, mesalazine, and/or probiotics(46).
4. Low fat diet
In the study to examine the association between dietary fiber, sources of fiber, other nutrients, and the diagnosis of symptomatic diverticular disease, showed that for men on a high-total-fat, low-fiber diet, the RR was 2.35 (95% CI 1.38, 3.98) compared with those on a low-total-fat, high-fiber diet, and for men on a high-red-meat, low-fiber diet the RR was 3.32 (95% CI 1.46, 7.53) compared with those on a low-red-meat, high-fiber diet. These prospective data support the hypothesis that a diet low in total dietary fiber increases the incidence of symptomatic diverticular disease. They also provide evidence that the combination of high intake of total fat or red meat and a diet low in total dietary fiber particularly augments the risk(47).
Pulses, including peas, have long been important components of the human diet due to their content of starch, protein and other nutrients. According to the University of Florida, peas contain a variety of phytochemicals once thought of only as antinutritive factors. These include polyphenolics, in coloured seed coat types in particular, which may have antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activity, saponins which may exhibit hypocholesterolaemic and anticarcinogenic activity, and galactose oligosaccharides which may exert beneficial prebiotic effects in the large intestine(47a).
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important pulse crop grown and consumed all over the world, especially in the Afro-Asian countries. According to the study by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, chickpea is rich in nutritionally important unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acids. β-Sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol are important sterols present in chickpea oil. Ca, Mg, P and, especially, K are also present in chickpea seeds. Chickpea is a good source of important vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate and the vitamin A precursor β-carotene. As with other pulses, chickpea seeds also contain anti-nutritional factors which can be reduced or eliminated by different cooking techniques. Chickpea has several potential health benefits, and, in combination with other pulses and cereals, it could have beneficial effects on some of the important human diseases such as CVD, type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases and some cancers(47b).
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