This article that came out today from the University of Chicago that leads readers to believe that milk fats can change the bacteria in the intestines which may increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease. The key word of course is “may”. In the experiment mice were fed diets that had were high in saturated milk fat and 60% of the mice that were fed high saturated milk fats developed ulcerative colitis compared to only 25%-30% who were fed low fat diets.
Of course, what we eat is only one factor in inflammatory bowel disease. Genes play a part too as well as the environment we live in. Also it is worth noting that trials in mice do not always translate into human results. One reason why I discount this study is for someone to explain to me how we have so many obese people yet so many fewer with inflammatory bowel disease? If diet has such a large role as many claim you would think there would be millions of people with inflammatory bowel disease as opposed to the 1.4 million that is estimated. I don’t discount that diet and what we eat can have a role in whether or not developing inflammatory bowel disease. However understanding what causes inflammatory bowel disease is complicated. What I would question is how much of an influence is diet into developing inflammatory bowel disease. Of course more research and experiments will have to be performed to figure this out.