Dietary fat attenuates the benefits of an elemental diet in active Crohn's disease: a randomized, controlled trial

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003 Feb;15(2):151-7. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200302000-00008.


Objectives: Although an elemental diet has been established as the primary treatment for patients with Crohn's disease, the influence of dietary fat on the elemental diet remains unclear. We have designed the first randomized, controlled trial for elemental diets containing different fat percentages in patients with active Crohn's disease.

Methods: Each patient was randomized to receive one of three dose levels of fat in an elemental diet (Elental) for 4 weeks: 10 patients received low fat (3.06 g/day), 10 patients received medium fat (16.56 g/day) and eight patients received high fat (30.06 g/day). The additional fat was composed of long-chain fatty acids. All patients were evaluated using the International Organization of Inflammatory Bowel Disease rating, plus C-reactive protein level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which were measured at weekly intervals.

Results: Although the International Organization of Inflammatory Bowel Disease rating, C-reactive protein level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate in the low-fat group decreased, the values in the medium- and high-fat groups fluctuated during the study. The remission rate after 4 weeks in each group was 80%, 40% and 25% for patients in the low-, medium- and high-fat groups, respectively.

Conclusions: When the fat consisted of long-chain triglycerides, a high amount of this fat in the elemental diet formula decreased its therapeutic effect against active Crohn's disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / therapy*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Remission Induction


  • Dietary Fats
  • C-Reactive Protein