Let Food Be Thy Medicine-Its Role in Crohn's Disease

Nutrients. 2021 Mar 3;13(3):832.doi: 10.3390/nu13030832.

Judith Wellens 1, Séverine Vermeire 1, João Sabino 1


Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


The food we eat is thought to play a role in both the increasing incidence as well as the course of Crohn's disease. What to eat and what to avoid is an increasingly important question for both patients and physicians. Restrictive diets are widely adopted by patients and carry the risk of inducing or worsening malnutrition, without any guarantees on anti-inflammatory potential. Nevertheless, exploration of novel therapies to improve long-term management of the disease is desperately needed and the widespread use of exclusive enteral nutrition in the induction of paediatric Crohn's disease makes us wonder if a similar approach would be beneficial in adult patients. This narrative review discusses the current clinical evidence on whole food diets in achieving symptomatic and inflammatory control in Crohn's disease and identifies knowledge gaps with areas for future research.

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