IBD: In Food We Trust

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Abstract

Background and Aims:

Both science and patients associate diet with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]. There is no doubt that links between IBD and diet are numerous, based on both epidemiological studies and experimental studies. However, scientific evidence to support dietary advice is currently lacking, and dietary counselling for IBD patients is often limited in clinical practice to the improvement of nutrient intake. This review aimed to focus on both patient’s beliefs about and molecular mechanisms for crosstalk between nutrients and inflammation.

Methods:

A literature search using PubMed was performed to identify relevant studies on diet and/or nutrients and their role in IBD. Pubmed [from inception to January 20, 2016] was searched using the terms: ‘Crohn’, ‘colitis’,’ intestinal epithelial cells’, and a list of terms relating to diet or numerous specific nutrients. Terms associated with nutrients were individually tested in the context of IBD. Reference lists from studies selected were manually searched to identify further relevant reports. Manuscripts about diet in the context of IBD from basic science, epidemiological studies, or clinical trials were selected and reviewed. Only articles published in English were included.

Results:

Epidemiological studies highlight the key role of diet in IBD development, and many IBD patients report diet as a triggering factor in relapse of disease. In addition, we present research on the impact of nutrients on innate immunity.

Conclusion:

Diet may offer an alternative approach to restoring deficient innate immunity in IBD, and this may be the scientific rationale for providing dietary counselling for IBD patients.

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