The rise of inflammatory bowel diseases could be down to our shifting diets causing a "boom in bad bacteria", according to US researchers.Mouse experiments detailed in the journal Nature linked certain fats, bacteria in the gut and the onset of inflammatory diseases. The researchers said the high-fat diet changed the way food was digested and encouraged harmful bacteria.
Microbiologists said modifying gut bacteria might treat the disease.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, affect one in every 350 people in the UK. When the gut becomes inflamed it can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
The researchers at the University of Chicago said the incidence of the diseases was increasing rapidly.
They used genetically modified mice which were more likely to develop IBDs. One in three developed colitis when fed either low-fat diets or meals high in polyunsaturated fats. This jumped to nearly two in three in those fed a diet high in saturated milk fats, which are in many processed foods.
Source - BBC