Is it possible that one third of ulcerative colitis cases are caused by linoleic acid in the diet? According to new research just published in the journal Gut (really, that's the name of the journal) and based on data from more than 200,000 people, the answer is Yes. Here's how Physician's First Watch wrote it up this morning:
"Over 200,000 subjects in five European countries submitted food-frequency questionnaires at the start of the study, and incident cases of ulcerative colitis were identified from disease registries, follow-up questionnaires, and hospital and pathology databases. After a median follow-up of 4 years, those with the highest quartile of linoleic acid intake showed a 2.5-fold increased risk for ulcerative colitis relative to the lowest quartile."
Linoleic acid is found in red meat and some margarine. Here's the study summary in Gut. Linoleic acid is an interesting substance that's been studied for various conditions. Here's a summary of some of that information from Memorial Sloan-Kettering.