Summary: The bean protocol is a nutritional approach that has exploded in popularity as a cure-all for everything from acne to severe Crohn’s disease. The theoretical mechanism of success centers around soluble fiber and its ability to improve detoxification by interrupting enterohepatic circulation. While there are many scientifically sound mechanisms by which this protocol could be beneficial for those with IBD – including support for the liver, nervous system, and microbiome – certain claims are dubious and verge on the pseudoscientific (to be explored in a future post). Overall, the protocol provides an excellent framework for a health-supporting diet and lifestyle for those with IBD, but care should be taken to avoid getting so caught up in the particulars that individual needs or relationship with food are disregarded.
Note: this article is part of the IBD Index. Last updated on July 9, 2022 (added bullet point about vitamin A detox as a potential mechanism).
I’ve personally been experimenting with a bean-protocol-esque diet recently, and I plan to start delving into the science (or pseudoscience) behind it in the near future. Follow me on Instagram for personal content related to the bean protocol, as well as snippets of research as I work on an in-depth “Science Behind the Bean Protocol” blog post.[Read more…] about The Bean Protocol for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease