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Let's Gut Real - Easy to Digest Nutrition Science

Making nutrition science accessible and easy-to-digest. Andrea Hardy, Canada’s Gut Health Dietitian, is on a mission to connect people to credible, up-to-date nutrition information about gut health and digestive disorders. Nutrition misinformation is rampant. If nutrition advice online scares you, it’s probably not true. Let’s Gut Real is all taking the fear out of nutrition messaging, cultivating critical thinking, and helping you understand nutrition science. Andrea talks with guests about digestive health, the gut microbiome, hot nutrition topics, and nutrition misinformation, sharing messages that are easy to consume and that inspire sustainable action. Andrea likes to say her goal is to get people to take nutrition a little less seriously – which may come as a surprise coming from a dietitian. Through humour, she injects fun into her science-based media messages. After all, poop jokes aren’t her favourite kinda jokes, but they are a solid #2.

Mar 8, 2022

Our diet, the balance of our gut microbiome, and fibre intake can have significant impacts on our digestive health and disease outcomes. This week I interview Dr. Genelle Healey on the use of exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) treatment for IBD patients.

Dr Genelle Healey undertook her PhD in Nutritional Science at Massey University in New Zealand. Her research looked at what influence habitual dietary fibre intake has on gut microbiota response to a prebiotic (fibre) intervention. Prior to commencing her PhD, Genelle worked as a New Zealand registered Dietitian caring for patients with various diseases including gastrointestinal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), renal disease and diabetes.

In 2017, Genelle moved to Vancouver to start a postdoctoral fellowship at University of British Columbia. The focus of her research is to better understand the impact nutrition, particularly fibre, has on the gut microbiome and disease outcomes for patients with IBD. During her postdoctoral fellowship she utilized models of IBD to investigate the therapeutic potential of novel nutritional interventions with the hope that these therapies can one day be used to positively impact the health and wellbeing of patients with IBD. Specifically, she has demonstrated that exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) enriched with fibre leads to beneficial changes in the gut microbiome, less inflammation and better disease outcomes compared to EEN without fibre.

We talk about:

  • How Healey became interested in the field of digestive health
  • What IBD is
  • How diet plays a role in the management of IBD
  • Some prescriptive diets that could put a patient into remission.
  • The role of ‘enteral nutrition’ in IBD
  • The difference between PEN and EEN
  • The mechanism of action in which we believe PEN/EEN can induce remission in IBD patients
  • How the gut microbiome is involved
  • The formulas used in IBD management and their ingredients, including emulsifiers
  • The overall complexity of IBD

Connect with Dr. Healey on her researchgate profile or on Twitter