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Alcohol, Red Meat Raise Colitis Relapse Risk

Diet high in both tied to threefold increase

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A diet high in red meat and alcohol could triple the risk of relapse in patients with ulcerative colitis, a new study says.

While monitoring 183 British men and women with the inflammatory bowel disease, doctors at the University of Newcastle found those who ate more than 100 grams of meat a day were three times as likely to relapse as people eating 50 grams or less a day.

The risk increased to five times as likely if the people were eating red meat or processed meats, according to the study, which appears in the October issue of Gut.

Those who drank the most alcohol were three times as likely to experience a recurrence, the researchers found.

High intakes of sulfur and sulfate were associated with relapse, which could explain the link with red meat and alcohol. Dietary sulfur is mostly found in high-protein foods, while sulphate is found in many alcoholic drinks.

More information

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse has more about ulcerative colitis.

SOURCE: British Medical Association, news release, Sept. 13, 2004
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