More Evidence That A Proinflammatory Diet May Increase the Risk of Crohn’s Disease

C-H Lo et al. Gastroenterol 2020; 159: 873-883. Full Text Link Dietary Inflammatory Potential and Risk of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

The authors used Empirical dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) scores which were calculated based on the weighted sums of 18 food groups obtained via food frequency questionnaires. n=166,903 women and 41,931 men 

Key findings:

  • “In an analysis of 3 large prospective cohorts, we found dietary patterns with high inflammatory potential to be associated with increased risk of CD but not UC.”
    • Compared with participants in the lowest quartile of cumulative average EDIP score, those in the highest quartile (highest dietary inflammatory potential) had a 51% higher risk of CD (HR 1.51; 95% CI 1.10–2.07; Ptrend = .01).
  • There were 328 cases of CD and 428 cases of UC over 4,949,938 person-years of follow-up. The median age at IBD diagnosis was 55 years (range 29–85 years)

Discussion points:

  •  Food groups that are associated with unfavorable EDIP scores “are characterized by calorie-dense foods high in animal proteins, saturated fats, and glycemic carbohydrates, such as red meat, refined grain, and high-energy soft drinks.”
    • “Dietary patterns resembling the Western diet, characterized by higher intake of red meat, high-fat dairy, and refined grains, have been proposed to trigger the onset of intestinal inflammation by inducing changes in gut microbiome, altering host homeostasis, and regulating T-cell immune response.”
  • “In contrast, diets rich in fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and poultry, resembling a more prudent and Mediterranean dietary pattern with high fiber and marine ω-3 content, may have anti-inflammatory effects.”

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