A Case-Based Approach to New Directions in Dietary Therapy of Crohn's Disease: Food for Thought

Nutrients. 2020 Mar 24;12(3):880. doi: 10.3390/nu12030880.


Recent evidence has demonstrated that Crohn's disease may have its roots in dysbiosis of the microbiome and other environmental factors. One of the strongest risk factors linked to immune activation appears to be diet. Exclusion diets have been shown to ameliorate inflammation and induce remission in 70-80% of treatment-naïve children at disease onset, and to induce remission in patients that lose response or are refractory to currently recommended medical therapy. Recent studies have also linked dietary modulation of the microbiome with clinical remission, while reintroduction of the previous habitual diet led to reactivation of inflammation and reversion of the dysbiotic state. While dietary therapy has usually been used as a first line therapy as a bridge to immunomodulators, newer insights suggest that new treatment paradigms involving dietary therapy may allow different treatment strategies. This case-based narrative review will discuss the Crohn's disease exclusion diet (CDED) as monotherapy, combination therapy with drugs, as a rescue therapy in refractory patients and for de-escalation from medical therapy.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Crohn’s disease exclusion diet (CDED); diet; inflammatory bowel disease; microbiome; treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Crohn Disease / diet therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / etiology
  • Diet
  • Diet Therapy / methods
  • Diet Therapy / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Precision Medicine
  • Treatment Outcome