Background & aims: Exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) is the only established dietary treatment for Crohn's disease (CD), but its acceptability is limited. There is a need for novel dietary treatments for CD.
Methods: We evaluated the effects of an individualized food-based diet (CD-TREAT), with similar composition to EEN, on the gut microbiome, inflammation, and clinical response in a rat model, healthy adults, and children with relapsing CD. Twenty-five healthy adults randomly received EEN or CD-TREAT for 7 days, followed by a 14-day washout period, followed by the alternate diet. Fecal microbiome and metabolome were assessed before and after each diet. HLA-B7 and HLA-B27 transgenic rats with gut inflammation received EEN, CD-TREAT, or standard chow for 4 weeks. Fecal, luminal, and tissue microbiome, fecal metabolites, and gut inflammation were assessed. Five children with active CD activity received CD-TREAT and their clinical activity and calprotectin were evaluated after 8 weeks of treatment.
Results: For healthy adults, CD-TREAT was easier to comply with and more acceptable than EEN. CD-TREAT induced similar effects to EEN (EEN vs CD-TREAT) on fecal microbiome composition, metabolome, mean total sulfide (increase 133.0 ± 80.5 vs 54.3 ± 47.0 nmol/g), pH (increase 1.3 ± 0.5 vs 0.9 ± 0.6), and the short-chain fatty acids (μmol/g) acetate (decrease 27.4 ± 22.6 vs 21.6 ± 20.4), propionate (decrease 5.7 ± 7.8 vs 5.2 ± 7.9), and butyrate (decrease 7.0 ± 7.4 vs 10.2 ± 8.5). In the rat model, CD-TREAT and EEN produced similar changes in bacterial load (decrease 0.3 ± 0.3 log10 16S rRNA gene copies per gram), short-chain fatty acids, microbiome, and ileitis severity (mean histopathology score decreases of 1.25 for EEN [P = .015] and 1.0 for CD-TREAT [P = .044] vs chow). In children receiving CD-TREAT, 4 (80%) had a clinical response and 3 (60%) entered remission, with significant concurrent decreases in fecal calprotectin (mean decrease 918 ± 555 mg/kg; P = .002).
Conclusion: CD-TREAT replicates EEN changes in the microbiome, decreases gut inflammation, is well tolerated, and is potentially effective in patients with active CD. ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT02426567 and NCT03171246.
Keywords: Carbohydrate; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Microbiota; Pediatric Trial.
Copyright © 2019 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.