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1959 Babies Hospital: Celiac and Cystic Fibrosis Dietary Guidelines

August 6, 2008

In 1959, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the dietary protocol for celiac disease and cystic fibrosis used by the New York City Babies Hospital. The top-ranked hospital, now part of Columbia University Medical Center still exists, but the dietary protocol has changed.

Surprisingly, the protocol describes an SCD-like diet--with a call for simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrate restrictions which extend beyond gluten. In addition, the diet includes an SCD-like list of vegetables (pureed for babies), fruits, meat and fish. A notable exception is the use of a high protein formula from skimmed milk "from which part of the lactose has been removed." Unlike current celiac treatment, the article reports the eventual return to a regular diet:

As the patient improves, there is the gradual return to a normal diet with the nutritional requirements the same as for the well child. There may be a few individual restrictions, but for all practical purposes a regular diet is attained.

This is dramatically different from the current stance of celiac disease being a permanent condition. (Note: the article refers to children, not adults.)

The article also points out:

The suggested diet types are guides only and are always modified to meet invidual needs. [italics in original article]

In regards to the treatment of cystic fibrosis, the dietary protocol is quite similar (there is more salt and less fat) but there is no reported cure. The SCD-like diet is dramatically different than the modern cystic fibrosis diet which includes mac 'n cheese, hot dogs, and pancakes.

That's all from 49 years ago . . .

source: Practical Dietary Management of Patients with the Celiac Syndrome, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 7, 463-476, 1959