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An interesting study from Japan shows that sprouted barley helps treat ulcerative colitis, a disease characterized by bloody diarrhea and ulcers in the colon.

All plants contain carbohydrates that your body can't break down, so they can't be absorbed in your upper intestinal tract. They pass to your colon which is loaded with bacteria that can break down some of the unabsorbable carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids have been shown in various studies to help heal damage to the linings of the colon, and they and serve as ideal foods for the good bacteria that also help heal the colon. Eating foods made with ground-up grains that have had the fiber and germ removed can cause constipation, while eating cooked whole grains and sprouted whole grains can help treat diseases of the colon including constipation, diarrhea, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and the alternating diarrhea and constipation called irritable bowel syndrome. See report #G213.

O Kanauchi, T Iwanaga, K Mitsuyama. Digestion, 2001, Vol 63, Suppl. 1, pp 60-67. Address: Kanauchi O, Kirin Brewery Co Ltd, Appl Biores Ctr, Ctr Corp Res & Dev, Miyaharacho 3, Takasaki, Gumma 3701295, JAPAN

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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