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Current Pediatric Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3963
ISSN (Online): 1875-6336

Foods for Health and to Treat Diseases

Author(s): John H. Cummings

Volume 8, Issue 3, 2012

Page: [208 - 213] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/157339612802139415

Price: $65


Most people try and eat “healthily” because they believe that food has an important part to play, alongside other lifestyle changes, in maintaining health. With the advent of the functional food concept it has become clear that foods can be used not only to prevent disease, but also to treat it. Thus the role of food and drugs overlap and are both needed throughout life. Diet is especially important for the prevention of the chronic non-communicable diseases of the developed world such as coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. But foods can be used to treat and prevent acute conditions also. Probiotics, usually found in dairy products, have a well-established benefit in childhood diarrhoea, necrotising enterocolitis, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, Clostridium difficile infection, pouchitis and the management of ulcerative colitis. Plant sterols can be used to lower blood cholesterol whilst prebiotics are gaining ground as their physiological effects on the gut microflora are established. Health and disease are not clearly different states for us all and when the question is asked, “how might I treat, or prevent this condition” then the role of food should always be considered alongside drugs and other lifestyle changes.

Keywords: Cholesterol, diarrhoea, drugs, functional foods, health, prebiotic, probiotic, health promotion

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