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Diet and Lifestyle

Supplements for Crohn’s Disease

Suggested supplements for Crohn’s Disease including Enzymes, Probiotics, Microbiotics, and lots more…

supplements for crohns disease

Microbiotics for Crohn’s disease.

Micro biotics and Probiotics have several health benefits, including helping to relieve the joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.  They can also help to relieve the intestinal inflammation of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  

Some experts maintain that using probiotics to restore the microbiome (the microbiological balance in the body) can allow a person with Crohn’s disease to reduce irregular immune responses and experience fewer symptoms.

They believe that adding healthful bacteria to the digestive tract, potentially by incorporating natural probiotic food sources into the diet, can reduce both intestinal inflammation and abnormalities of the immune system.

This could minimize symptoms of Crohn’s disease, such as gastrointestinal irritation, diarrhoea, and stomach upset.

Crohns Micribiotics Super 8

I recommend Udo’s Choice® Super 8 Microbiotic. It consists 8 different bacteria strains which are naturally found in both the small and large intestines, lacto in the small and bifido in the large. By including strains from both families Super 8 ensures that your entire digestive system is covered.

It has been on the market for many years and is widely available in pharmacies, health shops and online.

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Digestive Enzymes for Crohn’s disease

Because digestive enzymes help the body break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, the theory is that supplementing the body’s supply of these enzymes will promote healthy digestion and relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

If our system is compromised, because of certain conditions, food intolerances or aging, some foods prove particularly challenging to smooth digestion. Enter the ignoble signs of a flare-up: passing wind, belching and bloating.

At this point, many of us reach for Udo’s Choice Digestive Enzymes. This is where supplemental digestive enzymes come in, offering a much gentler and less invasive solution.

“Digestive enzymes basically speed up the breakdown of macronutrients.

For those battling a perpetual stomach ache, supplementing with over-the-counter digestive enzymes, especially in the short term, helps provide key digestive relief that allows the body to marshal its resources toward healing.

One of the most common objections to supplementation is that the body can produce all the digestive enzymes it needs.

However, stress and poor nutrition can be catalysts for enzyme shortages.

Lactase deficiency is another example of a widespread digestive enzyme shortage—it occurs in as much as 70 percent of the world’s adult population. Plus, as we age, enzyme production slows.

Digestive enzymes and Microbiotics
Digestive enzymes and Microbiotics

Udo’s Choice® Digestive Enzymes Gold is a good choice. It has three protein digesting enzymes including Alpha-galactosidase which is beneficial in reducing gas.

This makes Digestive Enzymes Gold particularly suitable for people with chronic gut based issues.

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Krill Oil for Crohn’s Disease

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be important in promoting critical brain function.

Some studies have suggested that they can help reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation in the body, reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension, reduce cholesterol and help alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

Krill Oil

New research shows krill oil may offer several protective effects against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohns Disease, including a reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress, and the preservation of colon length.

The  omega-3 fats in krill oil produce compounds that help quell inflammation before it can do damage to your tissues.

Krill oil also contains astaxanthin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that suppresses a variety of inflammatory mediators, and which research has shown has value in as many as 100 different health conditions.

Taking high-quality,  omega-3 fats like krill oil is one of several lifestyle factors that may significantly improve symptoms of IBD and Crohn’s Disease.  Others include optimizing your vitamin D levels. Cleanmarine menomin krill oil won the Irish Pharmaceutical News best new product of 2016.

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Relieve Joint Pain in Crohn’s Disease

Joint care for people with Crohn's Disease

One Nutrition Joint Factor is an anti-inflammatory supplement that helps to relieve joint pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory disorder). It has been suggested that it may also help to relieve the intestinal inflammation of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Each tablet contains a combination of powerful nutrients for maintaining the 4 key factors in joint mobility; cartilage, bone, muscle and connective tissue.

It also contains Vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food, and vitamin C, which assists in collagen formation for the normal function of bones and cartilage.

Also contains Vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food, and vitamin C, which assists in collagen formation for the normal function of bones and cartilage.

Joint Factor is ideal for anyone living with Crohn’s Disease and on long term medication as well as anyone looking to support their bone and joints

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Mouth Ulcers and Sore Throat with Crohn’s  Disease

Mouth ulcers can become more noticeable during a flare-up. Crohn’s disease commonly causes mouth ulcers known as canker sores. These develop around the base of the gums. They differ from other mouth lesions, such as herpes, which appear on the outside of the mouth on the lips. 

In the oro-facial region, patients can present peri-oral swellings which results in severe facial disfigurement.

Throat and Mouth Ulcers for Crohn's Disease

Award Winning Irish Botanica Throat Coat is a blend of lubricating extracts for when your throat and gums needs that extra support. It contains botanical extracts to help to soothe your sore throat.

The use of mucilaginous herbs help to protect the throat from infection.

Key botanical ingredients include soothing vegetable glycerine, marshmallow and liquorice as well as sage which has and anti-bacterial effect and osha root which acts as a mild anaesthetic. It has a blend of lubricating botanical extracts, including marshmallow root, osha root, sage leaf and liquorice, for when your throat needs that extra support.

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Manuka Honey and Crohn’s Disease

Manuka Honey
High Strength Manuka Honey

The unique benefits of Manuka Honey are well documented and are scientifically tested.

However, it is important to know that the level of the active ingredient methylglyoxal can vary greatly in Manuka Honey, so you want to be sure you know what you’re getting.

Results of one study indicated that Manuka honey is effective in the treatment of chronic ulcer and preservation of mucosal glycoproteins. Its effects are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Manuka honey has been found to be effective in preventing colonic inflammation with Crohn’s Disease. It assists the repair of colon lining damaged due to chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Crohn’s Disease.

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Diet and Lifestyle

Udo’s Choice® Super 8 Microbiotic

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Diet and Lifestyle

Get Your Gut Back On Track!

An estimated 110,000 people consume antibiotics daily in Ireland, between December/March. (Source: Health Protection Surveillance Centre).

We asked Nutritional Therapist Rosanna Davison for her Top Tips to get your gut back on track after an illness.

1. Take time out

Don’t push yourself too quickly.  Remember your body needs time to rebuild its reserves and regain strength.

Take more rest than usual.  If you need to sleep longer, go to bed earlier.

Cut back on non-essential activities; they can wait until you are feeling 100%.

  1. Embrace fibre-rich foods full of protective nutrients

Fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.  Try eating seven to nine portions over the course of each day. Choose different colours so that you nourish your body with a variety of phytonutrients.

Eat a portion of complete protein at each meal, such as poultry, fish, eggs, beans, pulses or tofu.

Consume essential omega-3 fatty acids daily.  Avocados, seeds (flax, chia) and oily fish (mackerel, wild and organic salmon), are naturally rich in anti-inflammatory fats.

  1. Go ‘fermented’

Fermented foods are rich in ‘friendly’ bacteria.  Sauerkraut is simple to make at home or buy kefir or kimchi in your local health store.

  1. Reduce or eliminate sugary foods

Processed foods often contain refined sugars to enhance taste. Excess refined sugar and processed foods may encourage the growth of ‘unfriendly’ bacteria, so aim to buy and eat fresh food.

If you have a sweet tooth, try eating berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries).  They are rich in antioxidants and naturally low in sugar.

If you need a sweetener, try Stevia which is extracted from plant leaves and doesn’t impact blood sugar levels.

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Diet and Lifestyle

Do vegans need to take supplements?

Do vegans need to take supplements

A varied, wholesome vegan diet provides almost all essential nutrients in sufficient quantities. I hear you shouting ‘Noooo! It provides absolutely everything we need!’ and you may be right, but only if you regularly eat certain fortified foods. The sad truth is that modern food production systems and lifestyles make it more difficult for everyone – vegans or not – to get all they need from diet alone. It doesn’t mean a vegan diet is unnatural or unhealthy, in fact the opposite is true. It means that how we grow, produce and consume food has changed and, with an ever-growing population, the demands on the systems that produce our food are so high that certain nutrients become harder to obtain.

Confusion, confusion

I get a lot of questions about supplements and understand why people are confused. Over the years, I’ve worked on many vegan research projects and as science and population studies reveal ever more data, the guidelines and recommendations change and evolve. Hence, what we were told 10 years ago may no longer be up-to-date and that’s why different opinions arise, depending on where and when we got our information. It’s my job to keep up-to-date, so hopefully I can bring some clarity to the supplement discussion!

So what’s needed? The trio of nutrients to keep a close eye on are vitamin B12, vitamin D and iodine. You may not need to supplement with all these, all year long, but it depends on several factors. Read on…

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 naturally comes from bacteria in the soil and both people and animals would traditionally have got it from eating unwashed plants. However, we not only wash vegetables before we eat them (and for good reasons), but food production is now so sanitised that most vegetables are washed in chlorine, or other sterilising solutions, so there’s not a trace of B12 left.

People are not generally aware that most farmed animals are given B12 supplements and this is how the vitamin eventually ends up in their flesh. So, the argument that meat is a natural source of B12 doesn’t really stack up as meat-eaters essentially consume B12 supplements recycled by the animals that were given them!

It is absolutely necessary that we have a reliable source of vitamin B12 for our bodies. We need it to make red blood cells, for a healthy heart and circulation, and it’s essential for the nervous system. It takes years to develop a B12 deficiency, so on one hand, you don’t need to worry about not having taken B12 for a while. On the other hand, you do need to pay attention, as when symptoms develop, it’s usually serious.

Do vegans need to take supplements

To ensure adequate intake, you should have at least 5µg (micrograms) daily from supplements or fortified foods. The B12 used in both foods and supplements is produced commercially by growing bacterial cultures in large vats – and it’s always suitable for vegans.

There are two forms of B12 in supplements – cyanocobalamin (cheap) and methylcobalamin (expensive). Cyanocobalamin is the stable ‘inactive,’ form of B12 and is used in supplements and to fortify foods and drinks. Once ingested, it’s activated by your body so it can be used. Methylcobalamin is the ‘active’ form of vitamin B12 as it does not require any metabolic reactions to be activated. It costs more and is not so stable.

So which one to choose? Unless you’re a heavy smoker, have kidney failure or any other serious condition affecting your metabolism, cyanocobalamin – the cheap form of B12 – is perfectly fine. Intakes up to 2,000µg a day are safe and you can take either a lower dose daily or a higher dose a couple of times a week.

Vitamin D

We need vitamin D for healthy bones, teeth and muscles and it also performs other essential functions in our metabolism. It is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight and this is the main source of vitamin D for most people. However, if you always use sun-block, cover most of your skin or live in a country, like the UK, where we don’t get enough sunlight over the winter, you need a supplement, whether you’re vegan or not.

The UK Government now recommends that we all take a supplement from October to April and, if you protect your skin ferociously over the sunnier spring and summer months, you should take a supplement all year long. Otherwise, just 20 minutes of sunlight on the face and arms is all that is required by the body to manufacture sufficient vitamin D.

Do vegans need to take supplements

Fortified breakfast cereals, bread, plant milks and vegan margarines can be useful sources if exposure to sunlight is not practicable, but may not be enough. When it comes to supplements, there are two types and your body can use both, but it’s advisable to check the source – vitamin D2 is always vegan, but vitamin D3 can be of animal origin. Many vegan foods are fortified with vitamin D2 and labelled so, but if not specified, especially on cereal products, vitamin D tends to be of animal origin. If you choose to supplement your diet, there’s a range of quality and affordable vegan supplements with vitamin D2. There are also those made from algae or mushrooms that contain D3 and these are recommended if you need a higher dose. When deciding on your dosage, 10µg per day is enough and you shouldn’t go above 25µg.


Iodine has been a hot topic lately, especially with plenty of tabloid ‘experts’ warning that vegans are missing out. This mineral is necessary for thyroid function and helps to regulate how energy is produced and used in the body.

The amount of iodine in plants depends upon the iodine content of the soil in/on which they are grown. The closer to the sea, the more iodine and therefore vegans can get enough from plant foods, but there’s no guarantee. Seaweed, which of course grows in seawater, is always a good source and includes nori, laver, dulse and the kelp family (kombu, arame, wakame). But be warned – kelp absorbs far more than other seaweeds and you can get too much iodine from it. So, while seaweed consumption is encouraged, kelp should be used only sparingly.

Do vegans need to take supplements

It’s best to use a kelp supplement so you know exactly how much iodine you’re taking – it’s cheap, reliable and you don’t have to worry about taking too much. The recommended daily intake is 140µg and intakes up to 500µg are considered safe. In many countries, iodised salt is commonly used to ensure iodine intake, but it’s not the norm in the UK.

The dairy industry has been boasting about the iodine content of cow’s milk. What they don’t tell you is that it’s not a natural component of milk, but comes from iodinated cattle feed, supplements, iodophor medication, iodine-containing sterilisers of milking equipment, teat dips and udder washes. Cow’s milk is neither a natural nor the best source of iodine, so we can happily leave all that dairy out of our diet.

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