Nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease

Karla Bascuñán, David Díaz-Jiménez, Rodrigo Quera, Marcela A. Hermoso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) comprise a heterogeneous group of chronic diseases of unknown etiology and unclear pathogenesis. These mainly include Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Increased disease incidence and prevalence have paralleled economic and social development. Dietary changes are possible factors to explain the development of this pathology. Diet, an environmental factor amenable to significant change, appears to be a determinant factor for IBD onset. The Westernized diet, low in dietary fiber and high in refined sugar and animal fats, has been proposed as an IBD risk factor. Studies suggest various associations between diet and IBD development. For example, increased consumption of refined carbohydrates may modulate the onset of IBD. Also, the alteration of essential fatty acids (omega-6:omega 3 ratio) may affect their modulation of both innate and acquired immunity through the generation of eicosanoids, molecules of a lipid nature produced by the oxygenation of essential fatty acids. These molecules are generated from long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) and represent a key link between LCPUFA and inflammation. On the other hand, the consumption of functional foods such as probiotics and prebiotics may promote an optimal intestinal environment in patients with IBD. Breast feeding has also been shown to have a protective effect. Therefore, diet can be a protective factor against IBD and an adjunct therapy once the disease is established. This is an important factor that could improve quality of life of patients with these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrohn's Disease
Subtitle of host publicationClassification, Diagnosis and Treatment Options
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781626185838
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Diet
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Nutrition


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