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Benefits of nutritional Therapies in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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eMediNexus    08 December 2022

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic autoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, has numerous genetic and environmental risk factors. Patients with Crohn′s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) have significant gut microbiome disruptions. Diet strongly influences intestinal microbiota. 

 

The association between the increasing incidence of IBD globally and increased consumption of a westernized diet suggests the role of host nutrition in the progression or treatment of IBD via the microbiome. Several nutritional therapies are investigated for treating CD and UC. Although their mechanisms of action are only partially understood, existing studies suggest that diet-driven changes in microbial composition and function underlie the diverse mechanisms of nutritional therapy. Despite existing therapies for IBD focusing immensly on immune suppression, nutrition remains an important treatment alternative due to its high safety profile, low cost, and benefits for growth and development, which are increasingly important to patients.

 

Patients, also in the future, will continue to explore possibilities for autonomy and self-management of their disease. Dietary interventions will remain an attractive choice, giving patients a satisfaction of self-efficacy amidst their many other prescribed treatments and delaying or restricting medical treatment side effects and long-term health implications. Recognizing this and providing strong, evidence-based guidance for patients is important. Moreover, the evolving evidence for dietary interventions in treating IBD highlights the critical relationship between diet, the microbiome, and immune regulation. It is still unknown if the microbial shifts observed with these dietary interventions causes its effectiveness or are a result of reduced intestinal inflammation favoring different luminal taxa. Until future research describes these associations, IBD patients should continue consider their nutritional intake as an important contributor to their overall disease management.

 

Nutrients. 2021 Dec 21;14(1):4. doi: 10.3390/nu14010004. PMID: 35010879; PMCID: PMC8746384.

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