Potential Benefits of Dietary Fibre Intervention in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Jun 14;17(6):919. doi: 10.3390/ijms17060919.


Intestinal dysbiosis is thought to be an important cause of disease progression and the gastrointestinal symptoms experienced in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inflammation appears to be a major contributor in perpetuating a dysregulated gut microbiota. Although current drug therapies can significantly induce and maintain disease remission, there is no cure for these diseases. Nevertheless, ongoing human studies investigating dietary fibre interventions may potentially prove to exert beneficial outcomes for IBD. Postulated mechanisms include direct interactions with the gut mucosa through immunomodulation, or indirectly through the microbiome. Component species of the microbiome may degrade dietary-fibre polysaccharides and ferment the products to form short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate. Prebiotic dietary fibres may also act more directly by altering the composition of the microbiome. Longer term benefits in reducing the risk of more aggressive disease or colorectal cancer may require other dietary fibre sources such as wheat bran or psyllium. By critically examining clinical trials that have used dietary fibre supplements or dietary patterns containing specific types or amounts of dietary fibres, it may be possible to assess whether varying the intake of specific dietary fibres may offer an efficient treatment for IBD patients.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; dietary fibres; human intervention; inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Prebiotics
  • Psyllium / therapeutic use


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Prebiotics
  • Psyllium