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Nutrition of patients with inflammatory bowel disease


Daily from patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) comes the question: "What should I eat?". Currently, there are no clear recommendations on this, since most dietary studies are too contradictory. 

  • A western-style diet high in fats and sugars and low in vegetables and fruits contributes to the development of inflammatory bowel disease. The prevalence of these diseases is highest in western countries.
  • Such a diet reduces the diversity of microorganisms in the human intestine.

Experts studied the effectiveness of several food diets in inflammatory bowel disease to find out which foods should be included in the diet and which should be avoided.


Meat is a great source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. Meat, including processed, contains high levels of organic additives. The end products of their protein fermentation have a detrimental effect on the microenvironment of the colon. In addition, meat contains saturated fats. High consumption of meat or fish is associated with a high risk of IBD. 

Fish oil contains unsaturated fatty acids.
OMEGA-3s, which have anti-inflammatory effects, are involved in the regulation of immunological and inflammatory responses, however, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend their use by physicians. 

Dairy products 
Dairy products are an important source of protein and calcium. Calcium is necessary to prevent metabolic bone diseases in patients with IBD. If the consumption of dairy products does not worsen symptoms, patients with IBD should not limit the consumption of milk and fermented milk products during exacerbation. Dairy consumption is not associated with the risk of IBD or relapse. 

Fresh fruits tend to be rich in fiber and vitamin C. Daily consumption of fruit reduces the likelihood of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Bananas contain inulin, one of the most famous prebiotics that stimulates the growth and vital activity of microflora. Green bananas contain large amounts of starch, which can act as a prebiotic ingredient. In addition, you can eat fruits and berries such as avocado, strawberry, melon, pear, peach, kiwi and blueberry.

Vegetables contain dietary fiber and are an important source of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. 

An analysis of epidemiological data showed that the number of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis began to increase 20 years after reducing rice consumption. Raw rice, which contains dietary fiber, increases the number of beneficial bacteria. 

Cocoa and chocolate
Cocoa and chocolate contain significant amounts of magnesium, copper, potassium and iron. Magnesium, copper and potassium reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, while iron, mainly found in dark chocolate, helps prevent anemia. 

A full and balanced diet is an important aspect of the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. If you have questions about the regime and diet, you should consult a gastroenterologist, and in case of serious nutritional status disorders, you may need the help of a nutritionist who is part of a multidisciplinary team treating patients with IBD. 

Specialists of MCSC named after A.S. Loginov we are always happy to help you with any questions regarding the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis!

GBUZ Moscow Clinical Scientific Center named after Loginov MHD