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Nutrition in inflammatory bowel disease: impact on disease and therapy

Cabré, Eduard MD; Gassull, Miquel A. MD

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: July 2001 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 342-349
Inflammatory bowel disease

Nutritional derangements are frequent in inflammatory bowel disease. In the last year, significant work was published examining the mechanisms of impaired food intake in animal models of inflammatory bowel disease, which allow a better understanding of these processes. These data have shed new light on the relative role of underfeeding and inflammation on the growth retardation associated with intestinal inflammation. Other studies have provided further information on the risk factors and predictive biomarkers of bone loss in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The potential role of enteral nutrition as primary therapy for Crohn disease is particularly addressed in the present review. Recent contributions emphasized the special importance of this therapeutic modality in pediatric patients, but the possible mechanisms for such therapeutic effect are still not well understood. Other nutrients may have a therapeutic potential in inflammatory bowel disease. In particular, recent data on the in vivo antiinflammatory action of butyrate merit special mention. Finally, novel nutritional therapeutic strategies for inflammatory bowel disease, such as transforming growth factor-β2–enriched enteral feeding or hydrothermally processed cereals, have recently been explored.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain.

Correspondence to Miquel A. Gassull, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Carretera del Canyet s/n, 08916 Badalona, Catalonia, Spain; e-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.