Popular Diet Trends for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Claims and Evidence

  • Andrew T. WeberEmail author
  • Neha D. Shah
  • Jenny Sauk
  • Berkeley N. Limketkai
Nutrition and Obesity (O Pickett-Blakely, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Obesity and Nutrition


Purpose of review

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently look to diet to improve symptoms. Although regularly asked for dietary guidance, gastroenterologists are often unprepared to provide evidence-based recommendations. This review will summarize popular diets claiming benefits in IBD, as well as current data evaluating their efficacies.

Recent findings

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet has demonstrated symptom improvement and even mucosal healing; however, large trials and prospective data are lacking. The low FODMAP diet has shown benefit for functional symptoms in IBD, yet efficacy regarding inflammation is lacking. Large studies for the gluten-free diet yielded mixed results in IBD outcomes, while suggesting a negative impact on psychological well-being. Data on an “anti-inflammatory” diet were positive but remain severely limited. A currently planned large trial for the Mediterranean diet in IBD may provide much needed clinical data.


We provide an overview of frequently utilized diets in IBD. The body of evidence does not currently support clear dietary recommendations in IBD, as larger, prospective studies are needed.


Inflammatory bowel disease Diet Nutrition Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Andrew T. Weber, Neha D. Shah, Jenny Sauk, and Berkeley N. Limketkai declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew T. Weber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Neha D. Shah
    • 2
  • Jenny Sauk
    • 1
  • Berkeley N. Limketkai
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive DiseasesDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Comprehensive Cancer CenterStanford Health CarePalo AltoUSA

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