Nutrition intervention effective with IBD

A change in diet can improve the quality of life of people with chronic bowel disease (IBD). That is the conclusion of a 6-month pilot study involving 180 people with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

chronic bowel disease IBD

No packages or bags

In the project "IBD, do you eat?", Varied and unprocessed food was the most important starting point. Vegetable food was the basis for this, combined with regular (fatty) fish, unprocessed meat and whole dairy. Sugar and products with fast carbohydrates were not on the menu. In addition, the participants were encouraged to chew well, eat with attention and enjoy the food.

IBD, do you eat with us?

The research was a collaboration between the Maag Lever Bowel Foundation, Stichting Voeding Leeft, the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Crohn and Colitis Ulcerosa Association of the Netherlands (CCUVN). In the 6-month program, various meetings were organized, participants were given a workbook with recipes and there was an online community. Through that community the participants were in contact with each other, they could ask questions and they were coached.

Energetic and fit

The researchers call the results "hopeful". The participants reported a higher quality of life and 80 percent would recommend the program to other patients. Participants from the LUMC were followed more intensively and the researchers saw a decrease in blood inflammatory values ​​in that group. "I have recovered from the vast majority of my patients that they were very positive about" IBD, do you join in? ", Says MDL doctor Jeroen Maljaars of the LUMC. "Many participants said they had more energy and felt fitter."

Reason for more research

"The most frequently asked question of IBD patients is whether they can reduce their symptoms by following a diet," says Tineke Markus, director of the CCUVN. "With this research we were able to make clear what nutrition can mean for IBD patients." But more research is needed, both Markus and Bernique Tool, director of the Maag Lever Bowel Foundation, emphasize. "This is a pilot study, and much more research is needed to compile more specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations for IBD patients," says Tool. "Although much is still unclear, this pilot shows that nutrition certainly plays a role in IBD."

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