Home / Be The Change / First of Its Kind Study Shows that Change in Diet Alone — Not Drugs — is Curing Diseases

First of Its Kind Study Shows that Change in Diet Alone — Not Drugs — is Curing Diseases

Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

In the fourth century BCE, the most famous Greek physician made the bold claim that disease was caused naturally, not by the gods. Environment, diet and living habits all played a part in the health of a person.

The tools and techniques of modern science have allowed us to uncover many secrets of nutrition. But we’re still just scratching the surface of the complex ways in which food compounds interact with the body.

As Mat Edelson wrote for Hopkins Medicine, the rise of corporatism had a big influence on medicine.

“Big pharma was scarce with cash, because they can’t patent a food’s natural properties. And from a practical viewpoint, studying food with its thousands of chemicals and nutrients is incredibly complex. By comparison, targeting and studying a single drug for efficacy in a double-blind model was far more straightforward and lucrative to both researchers and industry.”

Granted, some pharmaceutical products have given a better quality of life to many people, but the singular focus of making a pill to treat disease has come at the cost of virtually ignoring food as medicine.

Dr. David Suskind, a gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s, is breaking the mold. Suskind has produced the first clinical evidence that food can indeed be medicine.

“In a first-of-its-kind-study led by Suskind, published today in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, diet alone was shown to bring pediatric patients with active Crohn’s and [ulcerative colitis] into clinical remission

In the small, prospective study, patients were put on a special diet called the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) for 12 weeks as the sole intervention to treat their Crohn’s or UC. SCD is a nutritionally balanced diet that removes grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars, except for honey. The diet promotes only natural, nutrient-rich foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, meats and nuts.

At the end of the 12 weeks, eight out of the 10 patients who finished the study showed significant improvement and achieved remission from the dietary treatment alone.”

This changes the paradigm for how we may choose to treat children with inflammatory bowel disease,” Suskind said.

More studies will need to be done for confirmation, but these results will certainly draw attention for researchers willing to step outside of the pharmaceutical model.

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Food as medicine may prove to have applications outside of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as many diseases may be related to chronic inflammation. For example, the charred meat prevalent in American diets is associated with prostate inflammation which can lead to prostate cancer.

“Each person’s disease is unique, just as each person is unique,” said Suskind. “SCD is another tool in our tool belt to help treat these patients. It may not be the best treatment option for everyone, but it is an effective treatment for those who wish to try a dietary therapy.”

The report from Seattle Children’s highlights the story of 11-year-old Adelynne Kittelson, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age eight. The usual course for patients is steroids and medications that suppress the immune system, doing nothing to treat the underlying issue of the microbiome causing the immune system to attack the bowel. This pharma treatment also brings the potential for life-long side effects.

After months of uncertainty about Adelynne’s worsening, painful condition, she was finally brought to Dr. Suskind who diagnosed the problem as Crohn’s disease. He offered various treatment options, including the SCD diet. Adelynne’s mother didn’t want her to have life-long side effects from medication, so she opted for the unique dietary approach offered by Seattle Children’s.

“Today, Adelynne has been in clinical remission for more than two years. She’s a healthy, happy and thriving 11-year-old girl.

“I can’t believe how far we’ve come. When we first walked into Seattle Children’s, she was an 8-year-old girl who was barely heavier than our 4-year-old. Now, she’s growing and foods are no longer an enemy.”

Adjusting to the strict requirements of the SCD approach was difficult at first, but the lifestyle of natural, nutrient-rich foods is now second nature.

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This approach to treating illness is anathema to Big Pharma, which thrives as people pop more pills. Diet, exercise and being fully informed have no value to the corporatocracy.

For decades or longer, medicine has said diet doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t impact disease,” Dr. Suskind said. “Now we know that diet does have an impact, a strong impact. It works, and now there’s evidence.

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  • doucyet

    Does anyone remember when a peach tasted like a peach? Or a pear like a pear. They’ve been screwing with our food supply for so long you have to be over 45 to have tasted real fruit. Or lived in or visited a third world country where they still use the old seed strains and root stock.


    • Whitt2k1

      They still exist, you just need to purchase heirloom organic seeds and plant them yourself.

      • roslyn.ma


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  • MostOfYouRBrainwashed HAHA

    Dr. Sebi told us over and over that everything can be cured by eating the right foods. RIP Dr. Sebi

  • ♓Ξ▲ѴƳ Ƙ∆RM∆~Ð∈ßϯ SᏝ▲V∈

    “A Complete Macrobiotic Yin Yang Philosophic Understanding Combined With Its Practical Dietary Discipline Is Timeless Universal Law. All Other Teachings Are Incomplete.”
    ~ Herman Aihara, Michio Kushi, & George Ohsawa https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a224d2f6600b0b04451056a630e76468b28d16beb69d85653a20c1087959a248.jpg

  • Dan Quixoté

    I had Crohn’s&Colitis something fierce for years, voiding blood up to 15 times a day, top CCFA doc telling me I had to start getting chunks taken out of me if I wanted to live. Long story short – God led me by alternate means to know my case was from a decimated gut bacteria biome, and what the solution would be – repopulating my guts with soil bacteria. Mammalian gut bacteria is ambient soil bacteria as manifested in the enteric environment (note that the critters outside don’t get these diseases). Turns out you can buy medical grade soil bacteria prepackaged as “Homeostatic Soil Organisms” , or “HSO’s”, which are made for natural medicine practitioners for curing IBD, Crohn’s, and Colitis. Or do what I did – learned which plants in my unsprayed yard and nearby forests and wild fields are edible, and daily eat “weed greens” leaves close to the ground where the rain pelts bits of dirt onto them. Also went organic and toxin-free (fluoride free, vaccine-free, non-metal dental work) to the greatest degree I could. In a few months I was cured, no thanks to the top doctors. I’ve kept foraging since then because it’s better nutrition than I’ve ever had before, and now I teach others how to eat from the land with almost no work, free of charge. People I ran into recently who I haven’t seen me in several years ask what happened – why do I look ten years younger and so much leaner. I don’t dare tell them for fear of them thinking I’m a kook. The doctor in this article is almost on the right track, but I wanted to share my good news because most of the cases are like mine – toxins and wrecked gut biome.

    • Roberto Cervera

      Good to hear. How do you go fluoride free? Especially with drinking water?

      • Dan Quixoté

        Fluoride-free dentist, Tom’s fluoride-Free toothpaste. Big Berkey water filter with the PF-2 filter set for municipal water, otherwise well water.

    • Victoria Princeton

      Thank You for sharing what you just shared. I would like to contact you with some questions – if you don’t mind.

      • Dan Quixoté

        lamanchaman at cyber-rights dot net

        There’s more changes I’ve made that I didn’t list here, but the only one that I consider as “necessary” for curing my UC & Crohn’s was repopulating the gut flora and not wrecking it again with modern medicine, like the particular course of antibiotics that seemed to have been the last straw in my case. My own cured case was the first natural cure I knew about, but it led me to research cures for all my family and friends. Together we have yet to find a malady for which there isn’t a non-pharma cure (aside from broken bones and gaping holes). I get contacted by people out of the blue to get put in touch with cure options, or read x-rays/MRI’s for a second opinion. As a career applied-scientist, I had no idea that modern medicine was a sham, that we could all learn to be our own best physicians.

        • Victoria Princeton

          Hi I just sent an email from Serendipityvictoria at gmail dot com

      • Dan Quixoté

        cyber-rights no workee.

        Paracletepros at att dot net

  • 99.99992% chance this study is monstrously flawed. Let’s look… yup.

    In a less sarcastic but more serious tone, while overuse of a drug is the reason I almost died a month ago, drugs are the reason I didn’t die. Further back, when drugs didn’t give me cancer, drugs helped the procedure that removed it.

    A change in diet is not curing diseases alone, regardless of whatever health benefits — which do exist — a change in diet might bring. Big Pharma is hella corrupt but this CAM nonsense is dangerous at best.

    • Joel Munson

      This article acknowledges that drugs can be helpful. The main point is that the pharma industry ignores and probably discourages a change in diet as a possible option to relieve symptoms.

      • The article acknowledges that it’s a monstrously flawed study. Again, no love lost for Big Pharma, nor do I like most so-called “critical thinkers” and “skeptics” who scrutinize only the things they do not adamantly believe without basis, but the claim that diet change, by itself, will cure disease is a load of Grade A bullshit.

        • JP

          You claim the study (peer-reviewed and published in a respected journal) is monstrously flawed but make no attempt to actually show how it’s flawed. So let’s hear it, eh?
          The write-up states that it’s a “small, prospective” study. No one is claiming this one study is the be all to end all, but it does provide the impetus for further studies using diet to treat IBD.
          And yes, most of the patients as well as the case study of Adelynne did in fact cure their IBD through diet alone. Or did you not catch that part? “…diet alone was shown to bring pediatric patients with active Crohn’s and [ulcerative colitis] into clinical remission.”

          • People who don’t know how science actually works: you.

          • JP

            Hmm, just as I thought. All bluster and no logical arguments. Ignore the points brought up to you, and attempt to divert with pathetic ad hominem. Something tells me you’re not winning any fans.

    • ShaneJax

      Funny, A change to a whole foods plant based diet seven years ago has me in complete remission from Crohn’s. Never took meds and was told I would need surgery if I didn’t start.

      • Doubtful.

        • ShaneJax

          oh ok.So the colonoscopies and doctors are wrong…You seem smart…

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  • Melinda Vale

    As a reporter, please stick to facts. This is far from the first clinical study to show that diet alone can reverse disease. (Google Nathan Pritiken and Dean Ornish, for example.) Do some further research before making such a blatant claim.


    The F.D.A. has for many years allowed and accommodated the proliferation of counterfeit and sub-standard food byproducts allowing them to be sold as food items. Most of their food guidelines are written up by the corporations that profited from these dangerous and sub-standard commodities that would not should not qualify as animal food.The F.D.A. themselves are no more than another arm of corporations and need massive reform.

  • summer911ca

    This is the big reason why I am fighting for Canada to ban Monsantos. They are poisoning us with the pesticide and spraying our fruits and veggies.