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Diet as a therapy for chronic inflammatory illnesses

Our laboratory has focused on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) - a disease that imposes a significant health and monetary burdens throughout the developed world. Despite the urgent need, nutritional approaches to treating IBD are poorly developed. Hence, we created the IBD-Anti-Inflammatory Diet or IBD-AID™ (invention disclosure submitted): a nutritious, diverse and palatable dietary pattern that can be used long-term to address nutrient adequacies and assist with symptom remission. The innovative aspect of this diet is that it rationally targets the gut microbiome by including a variety of probiotic and prebiotic foods (no dietary supplements) to promote the establishment of commensal anti-inflammatory bacteria. To date, the IBD-AID™ is the only whole food nutritional therapy for patients with IBD that can be healthfully consumed long-term. Our goal is to dissect the mechanism of action by which the microbiota favored by the IBD-AID™ reduce inflammation in IBD patients. The knowledge gains from this IBD-AID™ research program can also be applied to other chronic illnesses where diet-microbiome-inflammation interactions are involved, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and cardiovascular diseases.

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