Diet in Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Mar;19(3):425-435.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.11.054. Epub 2019 Dec 5.


There has been an alarming increase in the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) 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 therefore might be incorporated into therapeutic strategies for IBD. Enteral nutrition is effective in the 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 the treatment of IBD.

Keywords: CD; Microbiome; Trial; Ulcerative Colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Crohn Disease*
  • Diet
  • Dysbiosis
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / therapy