Food as therapy and toxin


I return to write the Editor’s comments after missing last month because I joined over 700,000 Americans who, this year, will undergo knee replacement surgery.

This month, we feature a couple articles from the 2019 James W. Freston Conference (an annual AGA event that highlights cutting-edge science). Jim was the 89th AGA President (1995) and this conference is a fitting legacy. This year’s topic was “Food at the intersection of gut health and disease.” As usual, the Freston Conference attracted international experts and interested clinicians who want to understand how current research will alter our clinical care in the near future.

Dr. John I. Allen

Our front-page articles are fascinating. One highlights new advances in the management of celiac disease. Although the only current treatment that reverses intestinal immunological damage is adoption of a gluten-free diet, there is demand for alternative treatments including medical therapies targeting specific steps in the celiac damage pathway. While none are ready for wide-spread adoption, research will continue. Patient self-management with gluten detection-devices were also discussed.

Advances in the genetics of Crohn’s disease are being published at an accelerating rate. This month we highlight an article about how gene expression analysis can predict response to a Crohn’s flare. Evidence-based therapy for inflammatory bowel disease is complex, so clinicians need to stay current. Each year, the premier IBD educational venue is co-produced by the AGA and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. The 2020 Crohn’s and Colitis Congress will be held in Austin, Texas January 23-25. Learn more at:

Finally, I want to highlight an article about the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) during and after an IBD flare. This risk is underappreciated by many treating physicians but it is real and can be life-threatening. Gastroenterologists must be knowledgeable about current guidelines for VTE in IBD patients (see Gastroenterology 2014;146:835-48).

John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF
Editor in Chief

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