Information for those with Ulcerative Colitis

Natural Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis

There are a number of food supplements that can be used as natural treatments for Ulcerative Colitis. While not replacing medication - then can help reduce the amount of medication required.

Compensation for poor absorption of vitamins B and Folic Acid

Ulcerative colitis causes impaired function of the colon - and hence vitamins that are generally absorbed in the colon will benefit from supplementation. The main vitamin family concerned is the B vitamin family - especially folic acid if mesalazine is being taken. When treating ulcerative colitis is is therefore important to replace these vitamins. It is therefore prudent to take a moderate vitamin B-Complex supplement and a folic acid supplement.

Aloe Vera

There is now some firm evidence that Aloe Vera can be used to help treat ulcerative colitis. Recent research on Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis seems to show positive results. Hopefully more research into this area will follow in the near future.

Fish Oil

In a number of studies omega-3 fish oil has also proven helpful in treating Ulcerative Colitis. These studies have used relatively large doses - and it is though to be the anti-inflamatory effect of these oils that helps treat the imflamation. The doses used to treat colitis in trials were of the order of 3.2 grams of EPA and 2.2 grams of HDA per day (10-20 capsules depending on their strength). For anyone watching their weight this comes to about 100 calories so shouldn't be a problem.

Immune System Health - Zinc and Ulcerative Colitis

Zinc is a very important mineral that plays a large part in regulating the immune system. It is not uncommon for western diets to be deficient - and it is a very cheap supplement costing typically about £2.00 per month. It is a good idea to take a cleated zinc supplement of 15mg per day to help treat ulcerative colitis.

Much more information on Zinc can be found at

Secrets of the immune system

but here is a snippet -

Importance of Zinc to the Immune System
Zinc is an essential element that is commonly deficient in individuals who eat a diet high in cereal content but low in animal protein. Cereals contain phytic acid which binds zinc and inhibits its absorption from the intestinal tract.

Clinical signs of zinc deficiency may occur when plasma zinc concentrations drop below 65 mcg/dL. Zinc deficiency is associated with dermatitis, poor wound healing, retarded growth and sexual development, and reduced taste acuity. Values less than 33 mcg/dL are particularly associated with loss of the senses of taste and smell, abdominal pain, diarrhea, skin rash, and loss of appetite.

Zinc deficiency may be common in children with autism who may have had diarrhea for extended time periods and may contribute to their poor appetites. Zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system, from the barrier of the skin to gene regulation within lymphocytes.

Zinc is also crucial for the normal function of cells which mediate nonspecific immunity, such as neutrophils and natural killer cell. B lymphocyte development and antibody production, particularly immunoglobulin G, is compromised by zinc deficiency. The macrophage, a pivotal cell in many immunologic functions, is adversely affected by zinc deficiency. This can dysregulate intracellular killing, cytokine production, and phagocytosis.

The effects of zinc on these key immunologic mediators is rooted in the myriad roles for zinc in basic cellular functions such as DNA replication, RNA transcription, cell division, and cell activation. Apoptosis or programmed cell death is potentiated by zinc deficiency. Zinc also functions as an antioxidant and can stabilize membranes.

Probiotics

Though it is by no means certain - it is very likely that probiotics can play a useful part in both managing and effectively treating ulcerative colitis. This is because they colonize the colon with harmless/beneficial bacteria that compete with the less friendly bacteria that may attack/inflame the colon. These beneficial bacteria also help digest food.

 
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