A DELICACY created in Devizes hundreds of years ago has been identified as having benefits for sufferers of a 21st century disease.

Devizes Pie has been praised as being good for people with irritable bowel syndrome.

The wonder ingredients of the recipe, which dates back at least to the 15th century, are all offal, a rich source of crucial dietary compounds called nucleotides.

According to scientists, nucleotides help restore the gut lining and can ease the symptoms of IBS, seen as a modern disease linked to stress and contemporary lifestyles.

Nutritionist and dietician Nigel Denby said: “Brains and tongue as well as sweetbreads, liver and heart were all really popular dishes 50 years ago.

“It’s not something we eat that much these days and this may be harming our gut health.

“Stress, poor diet and modern lifestyles can also increase the need for this dietary compound, leaving our bodies in short supply.”

The recipe for Devizes Pie had been lost for generations until the 1960s when one turned up when the town charter was taken down in the town hall for cleaning.

Jacqueline Dickenson, the wife of the then proprietor of the Bear Hotel, recreated the dish and served it for years.

But it went out of fashion until the Devizes Food and Drink Festival in 2006 when Bear Hotel chef Martin McDonald made his own version.