Diet is a powerful tool when used as part of a comprehensive medical management plan. Expanding research shows a number of dietary IBD therapies to be effective, and while many have commonalities, some also have subtle to significant differences. Given patients' microbial and genetic diversity, the optimal therapeutic approach is often contingent on the individual, and as a result, is best achieved through a process of personalization. Considering all of these factors, dietary therapy can prove challenging to navigate. A closer investigation will provide a framework to become familiar with the options available in nutritional therapy for IBD.

Nutritional Updates from UEG 2021

The United European Gastroenterology Conference was held virtually October 3-5, 2021. Nutritional highlights from the meeting include the following:

Nestlé Health Science Satellite Symposium at WCPGHAN 2021

New Advances in Nutritional Management of Pediatric Crohn's Disease

This symposium was presented at the World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition 2021 and is available to stream here or on the Nutritional Symposia page. Novel dietary concepts are discussed. Preliminary results are included from the CD-HOPE trial evaluating the use of cyclic EEN (2 weeks of EEN every 8 weeks) as primary therapy in a pediatric population. A new “dietary responsive” phenotype is proposed. Preliminary data from adults utilizing CDED is reviewed.

Nutritional Updates from ECCO 2021

The 16th Congress of the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation was held virtually on July 2-3 and July 8-10, 2021. Below find a list of some of the nutritional highlights from the meeting.

What Is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional therapy consists of the use of therapeutic diets and/or enteral nutrition in patients with IBD, with the goal of both improving clinical symptoms and reducing inflammation, leading to induction and/or maintenance of remission. It can be utilized as primary therapy when medically appropriate or as adjunctive therapy with immune suppression and biologics and is well tolerated, with patients reporting improved quality of life (Sandell A et al). Progress should be evaluated using the same standard and techniques as pharmaceutical therapy, by monitoring inflammation via laboratory work and endoscopy, as well as assessing clinical symptoms.

Therapeutic Diets

Therapeutic diets are whole-food based, nutritionally balanced dietary plans that improve symptoms, reduce inflammation, and aid in mucosal healing. Items that have been shown to be harmful (processed foods and additives) are eliminated and items with potential deleterious effects in IBD (gluten, sugar, and dairy) are either eliminated or limited, while the quantity and variety of beneficial fruits and vegetables are increased.

Enteral Nutrition

Enteral nutrition involves the use of a nutritionally complete liquid diet, often formula-based. It includes Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN), which consists solely (exclusively) of a liquid diet with no solid food for 6-8 weeks, sometimes up to 12 weeks, and Partial Enteral Nutrition (PEN), in which a combination of liquid nutrition and solid foods is consumed.

Can Diet Impact IBD-related Conditions of Depression and Anxiety?

Patients with IBD suffer disproportionally higher rates of depression and anxiety, which are associated with a lower quality of life (Bernstein CN) (Byrne G et al) and correlated with active disease (Marrie RA et al). Furthermore, anxiety, depression, and fatigue are reported to be the most common severe symptoms of IBD in a recent international survey of patients (Rubin DT et al). Can diet impact the gut microbiota to influence the gut-brain axis and subsequently our mental health?


Patient Pathway

Are you or is someone you love a patient with IBD looking for more information on nutritional therapy? Visit the Patient Pathway for helpful resources.

Clinician Resources Overview

Are you a medical professional looking for more information on integrating nutritional therapy into your practice? Visit our Clinician Resources.

Latest Presentations from the Medical Experts

Nestlé Health Science Satellite Symposium at WCPGHAN 2021:

  • New Advances in Nutritional Management of Pediatric Crohn's Disease
    Presented by: Prof. Paolo Lionetti, Prof. Franck Ruemmele, and Prof. Arie Levine

About Us

Nutritional Therapy for IBD is a new 501c3 established to promote awareness of dietary options for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, providing educational resources to assist in the implementation of nutritional therapy into clinical practice.

Nutritional Therapy for IBD

Improving the Care of Patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis through Diet