Does Cold Food Cause Crohn’s? It is just a theory, but they say the evidence points to food refrigeration as the catalyst for a dramatic increase in Crohn’s cases. It is known that genetic predisposition plays a role in Crohn’s disease, and environmental factors such as smoking and diet have also been implicated.
Cold Chain Hypothesis”
At least half a million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and potentially, bleeding and anemia.
In a paper published Dec. 13 in the journal The Lancet, widely respected Crohn’s researcher Jean-Pierre Hugot, MD, and colleagues from Paris’ Hospital Robert Debre point out that the arrival of mechanical refrigeration in kitchens throughout the industrialized world paralleled the rise in diagnosed cases of Crohn’s disease.
They implicate specific bacteria that thrive at low temperatures as the potential cause of Crohn’s disease in genetically susceptible people, and they dub this theory the “cold chain hypothesis.”
“The cold chain hypothesis suggests that psychotropic bacteria such as Yersinia and Listeria— commonly found in beef, pork, chicken, sausages, hamburgers, cheese, and lettuce — contribute to the disease,” Hugot noted in a news release.
Toothpaste and Corn Flakes
Crohn’s expert David Sachar, MD, says it is widely believed that environmental changes during the 20th century have played a role in the rising prevalence of the disorder. He tells WebMD that the observation has led to some provocative, but hard to prove, hypotheses, such as those linking Crohn’s disease to such components of modern life as toothpaste and corn flakes.
Sachar says Hugot and colleagues make a good case for their theory that food refrigeration is the environmental catalyst researchers have been looking for and adds that there is no group of researchers with better credentials to make such a claim.
The director emeritus of the gastroenterology department at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Sachar says while it is clear the researchers are “in the right church,” it is not clear that they are “in the right pew.”
“Their suggestion that the modern industrialized environment has introduced new bacteria into the food supply is not in itself novel,” he says.
“What is novel is their argument that it is refrigeration in particular that has promoted the emergence of causative bacteria in food. This is certainly a proposal worthy of serious consideration, but it may be no more plausible than parallel hypotheses linking the development of pathologic lesions to ingested small particles — whether from food additives or packaging or cooking utensils or, for that matter, even from toothpaste.”
If the hypothesis is proven, investigators say it could have implications for future Crohn’s disease research. But nobody is suggesting that Crohn’s patients should, or even could, avoid foods that have been refrigerated.
“(Refrigeration) has produced many benefits for western societies, including the prevention of enteric infections, allowing more people access to a well-balanced diet,” Hugot and colleagues wrote. “These advantages clearly outweigh the putative risks discussed here.”
Coronavirus: What Happens When You Get Infected?
How Does Coronavirus Attack Your Body?
A virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.
The new coronavirus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.
Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks healthy cells and takes command. Eventually, it kills some of the healthy cells.
How Does Coronavirus Move Through Your Body?
COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, starts with droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or breath. They could be in the air or on a surface that you touch before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. That gives the virus a passage to the mucous membranes in your throat. Within 2 to 14 days, your immune system may respond with symptoms including:CONTINUE READING BELOW
- A cough
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Chills, sometimes with shaking
- Body aches
- A sore throat
- Loss of taste
- Loss of smell
The virus moves down your respiratory tract. That’s the airway that includes your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of your respiratory tract. So COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper than viruses like the common cold.
Your lungs might become inflamed, making it tough for you to breathe. This can lead to pneumonia, an infection of the tiny air sacs (called alveoli) inside your lungs where your blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide.
If your doctor does a CT scan of your chest, they’ll probably see shadows or patchy areas called “ground-glass opacity.”
For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) begins a few days later.
ARDS can cause rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, dizziness, and sweating. It damages the tissues and blood vessels in your alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. This makes it harder or even impossible for you to breathe.
Many people who get ARDS need help breathing from a machine called a ventilator.
As fluid collects in your lungs, they carry less oxygen to your blood. That means your blood may not supply your organs with enough oxygen to survive. This can cause your kidneys, lungs, and liver to shut down and stop working.
Not everyone who has COVID-19 has these serious complications. And not everyone needs medical care. But if your symptoms include trouble breathing, get help right away.NEWSLETTERStay Up-to-Date on COVID-19
What Else Does COVID-19 Do to Your Body?
Some people also have symptoms including:
- Liver problems or damage
- Heart problems
- Kidney damage
- Dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries. Some clots may cause a stroke.
Researchers are also looking into a few reports of skin rashes, including some reddish-purple spots on fingers or toes.
A few children and teens have been admitted to the hospital with an inflammatory syndrome that may be linked to the new coronavirus. Symptoms include a fever, rash, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems. The syndrome, now being referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C is similar to toxic shock or to Kawasaki disease, a condition in children that causes inflammation in blood vessels. We’re still learning about these cases.
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Coronavirus: Adults should take vitamin D, researchers say
The Government should immediately change recommendations for vitamin D supplements as a matter of urgency by urging all adults to take them during the coronavirus pandemic, according to scientists at Trinity College Dublin.
This follows evidence highlighting the association between vitamin D levels and mortality from Covid-19 produced by Dr Eamon Laird and Prof Rose Anne Kenny, who lead the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.
They analysed European adult population studies completed since 1999 which measured vitamin D, and compared vitamin D and death rates from Covid-19.
The pivotal role of vitamin D in fighting viral infections is known but it can also “support the immune system through a number of immune pathways” involved in fighting Covid-19, they conclude in a study published in the Irish Medical Journal.
The correlation is so strong taking vitamin D should be advised immediately, Prof Kenny said. This was because vitamin D deficiency was common among those at risk of Covid-19 (particularly older people); there was no toxic risk from taking it at the recommended dosage level, and growing evidence of benefits.
Last week, scientists at Northwestern University in the US found those with severe vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to experience Covid-19 complications.
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