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The Dietary Science Foundation
Telephone:+46 70-750 22 16
Address: Kostfonden/DSF
℅ Sjödin
Strandvägen 10
269 39 Båstad

The best fifth birthday present:
A change of diet enabled Samuel to do a Half Ironman despite his chronic inflammation


Five years ago today we launched the Dietary Science Foundation. We want to celebrate by telling you a fantastic story about what diet can achieve. Twenty-four-year-old Samuel Backman has overcome Bechterew’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the back and hips. A few years ago he felt so bad that he could barely walk. Now he has completed a Half Ironman.

What could be more appropriate to celebrate the foundation’s five-year anniversary than a story about a young person who, using diet, has regained his hope of having a healthy life? We told you about Samuel Backman last year. He has Bechterew’s disease and at that time he cycled the Vätternrundan, a 300 km bicycle race, with our logo on his shirt.

“I wanted to ride for the Dietary Science Foundation because I’m convinced that diet has a big impact on how we feel.”

Wonderfully enough, things have gone very well for Samuel! This summer he took on a new challenge, completing a Half Ironman: 1.9 km swimming, 90 km cycling and 21 km running.

“I was very nervous. I only slept for two hours the night before,” he says.

Despite a water temperature of only 15°C and hip pain that started in the middle of the run, he managed to make it through the entire race.

“Crossing the finish line meant a lot to me. The next day my calves were incredibly sore, but otherwise I felt surprisingly good.”

The diet keeps his inflammation under control

The Dietary Science Foundation is filled with admiration for Samuel’s strength of will. A few years ago he was so sick that he could barely walk (read more). But thanks to a strict diet consisting mostly of a variety of vegetables, root vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, eggs, fish and chicken, he’s been able to minimize his back and hip pain. Exercise has become a tool that helps him stick to the foods that do him good:

“I probably work out ten times more now than I did before I got sick. It’s so much easier to think ‘I need to eat well because I’ve worked out’, or ‘I’m going to work out today so I need to eat well’. “

There are days when the temptations surrounding him are too hard to resist, but as soon as he eats the wrong things, his digestive system revolts. The inflammation and pain return within a few hours and stick around for three to four days.

“ That’s when it’s easy to think ‘I’m already in pain, so I might as well not care what I eat,’ which can lead to a downward spiral that’s not easy to stop,” he says.

He plans to continue exercising to help him keep eating well. We’re pleased to announce that next summer Samuel has decided to do a full-length Ironman (!!!) wearing the Dietary Science Foundation’s logo once again. You can follow his efforts on Instagram: @sams_health_experiment.

Study the power of food using scientific methods

Samuel Backman’s story is fantastic, and there are more people who have found that eating a diet free from sugar, grains, dairy products and sometimes red meat or eggs has helped with things like thyroid problems, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. These stories are incredible, and we hereby challenge doctors and researchers to examine these phenomena using scientific methods. Can diet help even more people with autoimmune disease? How many? Can the right food have an even better effect than medication, as it has for Samuel?

These questions need answers! At the Dietary Science Foundation we intend to keep working to strengthen the science surrounding dietary recommendations. Dietary treatments need to be science-based before their healing powers will start to be implemented in healthcare.

Thank you Samuel and everyone who has supported us during our first five years! Together we make a difference.

Would you like to help us support independent dietary research and prevent ill health? Please become a monthly donor, company partner or make a one-off donation. You can follow our work on Facebook. Thank you for your interest!