The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
The SCD™ was designed on the premise that of all dietary components, carbohydrates have the greatest influence on the intestinal microbes (yeast and bacteria) which are believed to be involved in intestinal disorders. Most intestinal microbes require carbohydrates for energy. The SCD™ works by severely limiting the availability of carbohydrates to intestinal microbes.
When carbohydrates are not digested, they are not absorbed. They remain in the intestinal tract, thus encouraging microbes to multiply by providing food for them. This can lead to the formation of acids and toxins which can injure the small intestine.
Once bacteria multiply within the small intestine, they may destroy the enzymes on the intestinal cell surface, further preventing carbohydrate digestion and absorption. At this point, production of excessive mucus may be triggered as the intestinal tract attempts to “lubricate” itself against the irritation caused by the toxins, acids, and the presence of incompletely digested and unabsorbed carbohydrates.
The diet interrupts this destructive cycle by limiting one‘s diet to specifically selected carbohydrates that require minimal digestion. Because these carbohydrates are easily absorbed into the body, virtually nothing is left for intestinal microbes to feed on. As the microbes decrease due to lack of food, their harmful by-products also diminish. No longer needing protection, the mucus producing cells cease their production of excessive mucus and carbohydrate digestion is improved.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ thereby corrects malabsorption, allowing nutrients to enter the bloodstream and be made available to the cells of the body. As the body begins absorbing nutrients again, the immune system is repaired and eventually returns to a state of healthy function. Further debilitation is prevented, weight can return to normal, and ultimately there is a return to health.
While the time it takes for the diet to work varies by patient, many individuals report noticeable improvements in the first few months, with significant improvement in the 6-month to a year time frame.
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