Role of Dietary Habits in the Prevention of Diverticular Disease Complications: A Systematic Review

Nutrients. 2021 Apr 14;13(4):1288. doi: 10.3390/nu13041288.


Recent evidence showed that dietary habits play a role as risk factors for the development of diverticular complications. This systematic review aims to assess the effect of dietary habits in the prevention of diverticula complications (i.e., acute diverticulitis and diverticula bleeding) in patients with diverticula disease. PubMed and Scopus databases were searched up to 19 January 2021, 330 records were identified, and 8 articles met the eligibility criteria and were subjected to data extraction. The quality of the studies was evaluated by the Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment form. No study meets the criteria for being a high-quality study. A high intake of fiber was associated to a decreased risk of diverticulitis or hospitalization due to diverticular disease, with a protective effect for fruits and cereal fiber, but not for vegetable fiber; whereas, a high red meat consumption and a generally Western dietary pattern were associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis. Alcohol use seemed to be associated to diverticular bleeding, but not to recurrent diverticulitis or diverticular complications. Further high-quality studies are needed to better define these associations. It is mandatory to ascertain the role of dietary habits for the development of recurrent acute diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding.

Keywords: alcohol drinking; coffee; colonic; diet; dietary fiber; diverticulitis; diverticulosis; meat.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Western / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Diverticulitis / epidemiology
  • Diverticulitis / etiology
  • Diverticulitis / physiopathology
  • Diverticulitis / prevention & control*
  • Diverticulosis, Colonic / complications*
  • Diverticulosis, Colonic / physiopathology
  • Edible Grain
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Fruit
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Meat / adverse effects
  • Recurrence
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fiber