Plant-based diet for pregnant women with inflammatory bowel disease: case series

Transl Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2024 Apr 3:9:22. doi: 10.21037/tgh-23-67. eCollection 2024.


Background: We assert that the ubiquitous environmental factor in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is our westernized diet. Therefore, all of our newly diagnosed patients were admitted to experience a plant-based diet (PBD). In the present study, we investigated the efficacy of a PBD in pregnant women with IBD.

Case description: Included in the study were women with IBD provided with a PBD (lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet) between 2004 and 2020 who were either pregnant or became pregnant. There were 10 pregnancies in eight cases: seven cases of ulcerative colitis (UC) and one case of Crohn's disease (CD). Five active cases during pregnancy were treated. The other five cases experienced the diet before pregnancy. Two cases developed UC either during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. The PBD without medication induced remission in two mild cases of UC. Infliximab and the PBD induced remission in a relapsed case of CD. There were six conceptions during remission without medication in four cases of UC. No case relapsed during pregnancy in these cases. Vaginal, cesarean, and vacuum extraction were undertaken in four, four, and two deliveries, respectively. Three in two cases were preterm deliveries. There were 10 live births in the eight cases. Two neonates from a mother had jaundice. In the median follow-up period of 71 months, all eight cases were in the quiescent phase. PBD scores in their follow-up period, which indicate adherence to the PBD, exceeded the baseline scores.

Conclusions: Our case series study indicated that a PBD was effective for pregnant women with IBD.

Keywords: Infliximab; case series; inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); plant-based diet (PBD); pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports