In addition to the extreme abdominal pain and cramping typically associated with these conditions, many patients routinely experience vomiting, diarrhea, and, in some cases, even rectal bleeding.
For most, coping with this severe inflammation means a lifetime of pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. Not to mention a continuous stream of potentially bank-breaking medical expenses.
To minimize the negative side effects, many patients living with inflammatory bowel conditions turn to natural or “complementary” medicine for affordable relief. Often, this means eating a specialized diet and taking over-the-counter health supplements.
While this holistic approach has been, for years, scoffed at by members of the mainstream medical community, its acceptance has increased as more and more new scientific research points toward naturally sourced treatment options as being both valid and effective.
Medical researchers with the Montana State University’s Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases recently reported the discovery of beneficial, anti-inflammatory polyphenols in common apple peels. More importantly, they reported seeing a noticeable decrease in inflammatory bowel-like symptoms in genetically predisposed laboratory mice, following the addition of apple peels to their diets.
Polyphenols, the ingredient the Montana State researchers believe may hold the key to alleviating inflammation, are commonly found in almost all plants. In fact, the tannins found in most dried plant matter are about 50 percent polyphenols by volume.
Because “polyphenol” is an umbrella term used to describe a huge class of compounds rather than a specific chemical, this recent discovery leads to more questions than answers. Still, knowing there’s a needle somewhere in the haystack is a great step toward success.
While the research team behind the investigation cautions that these findings are only preliminary, the initial results are still very impressive. With any luck, the discovery of anti-inflammatory polyphenols in apple peels will help pave the way to new natural treatment options, not just for people suffering from bowel inflammation, but possibly other serious conditions caused by overly active immune response elsewhere in the body.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
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