Diet in treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Sasson AN1, Ananthakrishnan AN2, Raman M3. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Dec 5. pii: S1542-3565(19)31394-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.11.054. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

1 Division of Gastroenterology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

2 Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: aananthakrishnan@mgh.harvard.edu.

3 Division of Gastroenterology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: mkothand@ucalgary.ca.


There has been an alarming increase in the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) worldwide over the past several decades. The pathogenesis of IBD involves genetic and environmental factors. Diet is a potentially modifiable environmental risk factor for IBD onset and severity. Diet can promote intestinal inflammation by dysregulating the immune system, altering intestinal permeability and the mucous layer, contributing to microbial dysbiosis, and other mechanisms. Dietary changes might therefore be incorporated into therapeutic strategies for IBD. Enteral nutrition is effective in treatment of pediatric patients with luminal Crohn's disease, but there have been few studies of the effects of dietary interventions with whole foods-most of these have been studies of exclusion diets in patients with Crohn's disease. We review findings from studies of the effects of dietary patterns, single micronutrients, and food additives in inducing and maintaining remission in patients with IBD. We discuss future directions for research and propose a framework for studies of dietary interventions in treatment of IBD.

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