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J Crohns Colitis. 2019 Jan 30. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjz011. [Epub ahead of print]

Carbohydrate Monotony as Protection and Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Texas Children's Hospital Baylor College of Medicine.
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Houston, TX, USA.


The nutritional developmental origins of inflammatory bowel disease(s) (IBDs: Crohn's disease or Crohn disease [CD] and ulcerative colitis [UC]) and their diet-based treatments continue to receive increasing attention. There is growing evidence for the success of nutrition-based treatments, such as exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) and the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) in both pediatric and adult patients. Beyond these two dietary interventions, symptomatic benefit in IBD has also been shown from a gluten-free diet (GFD) and paleolithic diet (PALEO), among others. These nutritional therapies may point to critical factors in not only the pathology, but also the pathogenesis of the disease group. It is difficult, however, to discern a common element within the large number of diet-based causation theories (e.g., emulsifiers, processed foods, refrigeration, increased total fat intake, low fiber intake, carbohydrate dominant food, etc.) and the varied dietary treatments of IBD. This viewpoint highlights that carbohydrate variation links diet-based causation theories, and that carbohydrate monotony or persistence is the commonly shared characteristic of diet based IBD therapy. Further research directed towards carbohydrate monotony may critically advance the prevention and treatment of these highly morbid conditions.


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