The trace elements zinc and selenium are of particular importance. It was only recently proven that even a slight zinc deficiency can trigger a bout of inflammation. Selenium has a high antioxidant effect and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It thus protects the body from free radicals, which promote inflammation of the intestines. It is also involved in a variety of detoxification reactions in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important counterparts to the omega-6 fatty acids and saturated fatty acids (animal fats, sunflower oil, margarine) that dominate the diet today. Omega-3 fatty acids form anti-inflammatory proteins, while omega-6 fatty acids form pro-inflammatory proteins.
Secondary plant compounds, i.e. all the substances that give vegetables and fruit their bright color, also have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. For example, only recently the positive effect of curcumin was found in sufferers of ulcerative colitis. Furthermore, it has also been recognized that micronutrients prevent numerous complications of colitis. Particularly feared is involvement of the heart. Thus, a deficiency of carnitine can lead to progressive heart failure in ulcerative colitis patients. In addition, carnitine shows significant effects against intestinal inflammation.
Lecithin, a protein substance that is needed, among other things, for the production of messenger substances and acts as a kind of transporter to and from the cell to conduct substances, is an important component of the intestinal mucosa. Initial studies conducted in Germany have produced encouraging results with the use of lecithin in active ulcerative colitis.
The above-mentioned studies show that natural micronutrients alleviate the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.