Letter to the Editor
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2022. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Exp Med. Sep 20, 2022; 12(5): 104-107
Published online Sep 20, 2022. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v12.i5.104
Diet and nutrition against inflammatory bowel disease: Trick or treat(ment)?
Salvatore Greco, Beatrice Bonsi, Nicolò Fabbri
Salvatore Greco, Beatrice Bonsi, Department of Translational Medicine, University of Ferrara, Ferrara 44100, Italy
Salvatore Greco, Department of Internal Medicine, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale Di Ferrara, Ospedale del Delta, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Ferrara, Ferrara 44100, Italy
Nicolò Fabbri, Unit of General Surgery, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Ferrara, Ospedale del Delta, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Ferrara, Ferrara 44100, Italy
Author contributions: Greco S and Fabbri N designed and performed the research; all authors analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All authors declare no conflicts of interest for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Nicolò Fabbri, MD, Surgeon, Unit of General Surgery, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Ferrara, Ospedale del Delta, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Ferrara, via Valle Oppio 2, Lagosanto, Ferrara 44100, Italy. n.fabbri@ausl.fe.it
Received: June 2, 2022
Peer-review started: June 2, 2022
First decision: June 16, 2022
Revised: June 21, 2022
Accepted: August 30, 2022
Article in press: August 30, 2022
Published online: September 20, 2022

Even if the relationships between nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remain underexplored, the current literature is providing, day by day, much more evidence on the effects of various diets in both prevention and treatment of such illnesses. Wrong dietary habits, together with other environmental factors such as pollution, breastfeeding, smoke, and/or antibiotics, are among the theoretical pathogenetic causes of IBD, whose multifactorial aetiology has been already confirmed. While some of these risk factors are potentially reversible, some others cannot be avoided, and efficient treatments become necessary to prevent IBD spread or recurrence. Furthermore, the drugs currently available for treatment of such disease provide low-to-no effect against the symptoms, making the illnesses still strongly disabling. Whether nutrition and specific diets will prove to effectively interrupt the course of IBD has still to be clarified and, in this sense, further research concerning the applications of such dietary interventions is still needed.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Diet, Nutrition, Treatment

Core Tip: The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is alarmingly growing worldwide, and there is still no efficient drug able to induce complete remission since IBD spreads. There is currently no consensus in the medical community about nutritional treatment for the IBD patients, and the role of diet in the disease course is often underestimated. Diet and nutrition seem to have a role not only in preventing the onset of the disease, but also in inducing and keeping temporary remission. Whether specific diets have potential to cure the disease is still uncertain and much research is still needed to clarify their role in this sense. In our opinion, diet and nutrition should be classified as pure treatments against IBD, as it happens for steroids, azathiopirine, mesalazine, or others, and their administration should be indicated by nutrition specialists, with the greatest degree of customization of dosages and dietary plans.