Affecting millions of Americans, Complex Carbohydrate Intolerance (CCI) is caused by a deficiency of the intestinal enzyme, alpha-galactosidase, which results in the incomplete digestion of complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, legumes, whole grains, cereals, nuts and seeds. Symptoms of CCI include flatulence, abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and constipation.
Dr. Levine, lead author of a professional paper published in the latest edition of Nutrition In Clinical Care and director of the Nutrition Information Center at Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University in New York, cites in the paper that enzyme replacement therapy is the only method that targets the root of the CCI problem, an enzyme deficiency. Enzyme replacement therapy requires that alpha-galactosidase preparations be taken at the same time as ingestion of each half-cup serving of complex carbohydrate foods.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that between 40 and 60 percent of Americans' total calories come from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates (starches) and naturally occurring sugars. However, nearly 79 million Americans avoid eating these healthy foods because they can lead to uncomfortable and embarrassing digestive distress.
"I hear it in my practice everyday. CCI sufferers are most fearful about exhibiting the embarrassing symptoms of the condition, often to the extent of putting their favorite activities and social lives on hold. More importantly, those with CCI frequently avoid eating the nutritious foods they need, despite their protective health benefits," Dr. Levine said. "Identifying CCI is important in helping patients to more easily discuss their symptoms with healthcare professionals and to tolerate healthy diets that aid in warding off serious conditions, such as heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes."
"Symptoms of CCI are similar to those of more serious conditions like cardiac events, and individuals with CCI may seek medical attention for presumed more serious conditions," Dr. Levine said. "This mistaken symptom association can lead to costly medical procedures, and misdiagnosis may result in patients taking drugs that are not treating the underlying cause of the condition. Increased awareness of CCI, its symptoms and enzyme replacement therapy is paramount to avoiding unnecessary treatment measures."
Other treatment options are available, including diet and lifestyle changes, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements. Diet and lifestyle changes may help some people manage CCI, but others may continue to suffer, requiring additional treatment. Prescription and over- the-counter drugs may target specific symptoms associated with CCI, but do not allow the body to more easily digest complex carbohydrates, thus preventing the occurrence of CCI symptoms. Dietary supplements, such as peppermint, help soothe the digestive tract and may also be beneficial in preventing belching and in decreasing bloating after large meals. However, despite its efficacy, peppermint and other herbs do not target the enzyme deficiency responsible for CCI discomfort.
The paper published in Nutrition in Clinical Care fully reviews carbohydrate digestion and treatment alternatives for patients that may help prevent and/or relieve discomfort associated with CCI.
Barbara S. Levine, Ph.D., R.D., has been a researcher, consultant and teacher of nutrition at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the country. Dr. Levine is the director of the Nutrition Information Center and of the DHA Information Center and associate professor of Nutrition in Clinical Medicine at Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University in New York. Dr. Levine's academic positions also include: associate scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and director of Clinical Nutrition at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center. Dr. Levine's research focus currently centers on the nutritional interactions between genetics and the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as the optimal diet for cognitive function and visual acuity in young children. She is an active member of the American Dietetic Association and has served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health.
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Anmerkung von migraeneinformation.de:
Es ist erstaunlich, dass einige Wissenschaftler aus einer mangelhaften Verdauung komplexer Kohlenhydrate auf Grund fehlender Enzyme den Schluss ziehen, dass die fehlenden Enzyme ersetzt werden müssen, da die auslösenden Lebensmittel gesund sind.
Viel naheliegender wäre der Schluss: Die Lebensmittel können durch eine bestimmte Person auf Grund eines Enzymmangels nicht verdaut werden, also sind diese in Mengen nicht für diese Person geeignet. Nährstoffreiche alternative Lebensmittel lassen sich zur Genüge auch außerhalb der genannten Nahrungsmittel finden.
Allerdings sind die Aussagen auch in einer anderen Hinsicht interessant und das nährt den Verdacht und Vorwurf, der schon öfter erhoben wurde: Dass die einseitige Empfehlung der DGE für kohlenhydratreiche Ernährungsweisen mit vielen "gesunden komplexen" Kohlenhydraten, die nicht so schnell den Blutzuckerspiegel ansteigen lassen, bei vielen Menschen zu verstärkten Verdauungsproblemen führt und damit indirekt über eine Vermeidungsstrategie zu einem deutlich erhöhten Zuckerkonsum.