Interaction between diet and genetics in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2024 Mar 28;30(12):1644-1650. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v30.i12.1644.


In this editorial, we comment on the article by Marangoni et al, published in the recent issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology 2023; 29: 5618-5629, about "Diet as an epigenetic factor in inflammatory bowel disease". The authors emphasized the role of diet, especially the interaction with genetics, in promoting the inflammatory process in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, focusing on DNA methylation, histone modifications, and the influence of microRNAs. In this editorial, we explore the interaction between genetics, gut microbiota, and diet, in an only way. Furthermore, we provided dietary recommendations for patients with IBD. The Western diet, characterized by a low fiber content and deficiency the micronutrients, impacts short-chain fatty acids production and may be related to the pathogenesis of IBD. On the other hand, the consumption of the Mediterranean diet and dietary fibers are associated with reduced risk of IBD flares, particularly in Crohn's disease (CD) patients. According to the dietary guidance from the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IOIBD), the regular consumption of fruits and vegetables while reducing the consumption of saturated, trans, dairy fat, additives, processed foods rich in maltodextrins, and artificial sweeteners containing sucralose or saccharine is recommended to CD patients. For patients with ulcerative colitis, the IOIBD recommends the increased intake of natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids and follows the same restrictive recommendations aimed at CD patients, with the possible inclusion of red meats. In conclusion, IBD is a complex and heterogeneous disease, and future studies are needed to elucidate the influence of epigenetics on diet and microbiota in IBD patients.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Diet; Gastrointestinal microbiome; Genetics; Inflammatory bowel diseases; MicroRNAs.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Colitis, Ulcerative*
  • Crohn Disease* / genetics
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs*


  • MicroRNAs