Position Paper: Nutrition in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

E Miele et al. JPGN 2018; 66: 687-708.

Full text linkNutrition in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Position Paper on Behalf of the Porto Inflammatory Bowel Disease Group of the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

This position paper from ESPGHAN makes a total of 53  recommendations and 47 practice points.  There are too many to summarize in this blog post, but I will highlight a few.

Vitamins/Minerals:

  • Due to insufficient data, we do not recommend routine measurement or supplementation of zinc and selenium in children with IBD (EL 2).
  • We recommend monitoring vitamin D levels in all children with IBD (EL 2).
  • We recommend monitoring folic acid annually (EL 2).
  • We do not recommend routine measurement or supplementation of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B7 and vitamin C in children with IBD (EL 2).
  • We recommend folic acid supplementation (either 1 mg daily or 5 mg weekly) in children with IBD receiving MTX therapy (EL 2).
  • We recommend that either serum cobalamin levels or methylmalonic acid level in blood or urine should be measured in children with active ileal CD, children with ileal resection of >20 cm and UC children ileal pouch surgery at least annually (EL 4)

Enteral Nutrition:

  • EEN has the same efficacy as oral steroids in the induction of remission of children with active luminal CD (EL 1). EEN is recommended for a period of at least 8 weeks (EL 1).
  • The use of standard polymeric formula, with a moderate fat content, is recommended unless other conditions are present (eg, cow’s milk protein allergy) (EL 1).
  • Due to the highly demanding adherence, EEN should not be considered as an option for long-term maintenance therapy.
  • EEN is not efficacious in the induction and maintenance of remission of pediatric UC (EL 4).
  • PEN is a treatment option to maintain remission in selected patients with mild disease and low risk of relapse (EL 4).
  • A specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) for induction or maintenance of remission in pediatric IBD patients should not be recommended (EL 4). More evidence on the benefit of SCD from RCTs is needed before such a dietary restriction can be recommended to pediatric IBD patients

My take: This position paper provides a lot of useful information and makes some recommendations that are practical.  The use of diets for maintenance therapy does not receive a favorable view.

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Disappointing Results from Small Study of Specific Carbohydrate Diet

A recent retrospective study (GT Wahbeh et al. JPGN 2017; 65: 289-92) examined seven patients who were receiving a modified specific carbohydrate diet (SCD).  While this is a small stud,y there are several lessons in this report and the thoughtful editorial (pg 266-67): “Alas, Who and What Can We Trust? Patients, Parents, Surrogate Markers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet” by Stan Cohen (one of my partners).

The participants in the study had a median age of 11 yrs and received their mSCD for a median duration of 26 months.  Key finding: despite lack of symptoms, all subjects had ongoing active disease on endoscopy; the majority had normal biomarkers: CRP, albumin, and hematocrit and only mildly elevated calprotectin (median 201, range 65-312).

Dr. Cohen notes the following lessons from this study:

  • “First, the SCD is very restrictive and young patients often find it difficult to perpetuate”
  • “Families are often presumptive about how well they are doing. Significant signs of malnutrition and lack of weight gain may be ignored.”
  • Patients often “underreport their symptoms and overrerport their adherence.”
  • “Wahbeh et al have taught us…about the lack of effectiveness of a modified SCD [and]…we should use caution in gauging and interpreting patient-reported outcomes and surrogates as well.”

My take: The modified SCD appears to be only partly effective and how this impacts the long-term outcomes for patients is not clear.

Related article: A McCombie. JPGN 2017; 65: 311-13. Summer camp for IBD.  This study of 36 participants: “most reported that camp improved their confidence (86%), acceptance (83%), and overall quality of life (75%). 72% endorsed meeting their fellow campers as the most beneficial experience.  My take: Camp helps ease social isolation associated with a diagnosis of pediatric IBD.

Related blog posts:

Nutrition Week (Day 7) Connecting Epidemiology and Diet in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A supplement in Gastroenterology (2017; 152: 309-462) provides a great update on a lot of topics.  These include pathophysiology articles (eg. role of Paneth cell, role of microbiome), treatment/development of fibrosis, management advances in endoscopy and biomarkers, newest treatments and emerging treatments, complementary medicine approaches, pain/psychology issues, medications in pregnancy, and detecting dysplasia.

For me, the update on epidemiology and its relationship to diet (pgs 313-321) as well as the review on diet as a trigger or therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (398-414) were most interesting.  Though, I will keep the update on complementary and alternative medicines article at my desk in case questions come about this topic

GG Kaplan, SC Ng. “Understanding and Preventing the Global Increase of Inflammatory Bowel Disease”  Gastroenterology 2017; 152: 313-321

Epidemiology:

1st case of ulcerative colitis was reported in 1859.  !st cases of Crohn’s disease reported in 1932 (BB Crohn et al. JAMA 1932; 99: 1323-29).

Olmstead County, Minnesota –cases per 100,000:

  • 1965: 28
  • 1980: 90.5
  • 1991: 132.7
  • 2001: 213.9
  • 2011: 246.7

While rates of IBD have “shown signs of stabilization…pediatric-onset IBD continues to increase steadily in incidence.”

IBD Around the World –cases per 100,000:

  • 2005 Japan: 76
  • 2005 S Korea: 42
  • 2013 India: 9.3
  • 2013 China: 3.3.  The greatest incidence is noted in areas of increased urbanization and economic advancement.
  • 2005: Brazil: 9.7

Environmental factors/associations:

  • Cigarette smoking –increases risk of Crohn’s disease in Western countries, and has protective effect against Ulcerative colitis
  • Antibiotic use –increases risk of IBD in Western countries, but may be protective in developing countries.  “Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis may not develop as easily in developing countries, owing to ubiquitous exposure to a diverse range of microbiota that rapidly repopulate the intestinal tract.”
  • Breastfeeding –protects against developing IBD
  • Vitamin D –low levels increase risk of IBD in Caucasians.
  • Fiber –a “diet high in fiber protects against Crohn’s disease.”

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JD Lewis, MT Abreu.”Diet as a Trigger or Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease”  Gastroenterology 2017; 152: 398-414.

“The most common question asked by patient is …’Doctor, what should I eat?'”

Key points:

  • Data from studies of immigrants to higher-IBD prevalence countries show an increasing incidence of IBD, leading to the hypothesis that environmental factors such as diet affect risk of IBD.
  • In early life, breast milk, in some but not all studies, has been associated with a lower risk of childhood-onset IBD.
  • Before development of IBD, studies have shown lower risk of IBD “among people who consume more fruits and vegetables, and a higher risk in people who consume less of these and more animal fats and sugar.”
  • “There is little information about which foods induce flares.” However, for UC, “a high intake of meat, especially red and processed meat, protein, alcoholic beverages, sulfur, and sulfate increased the likelihood of a flare” based on food questionnaires.  In patients with CD, diet with higher “total fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fatty acids, and a higher ratio of omega-6:omega-3 PUFAs was associated with disease relapses.”
  • “Only approximately half of patients have ever received advice from a dietitian.”
  • Oral iron may trigger flares in a small percentage of patients with IBD.  The authors note that adherent E coli express genes for iron acquisition and require iron for growth.

Specific Diets/Additives:  Most of these diets have been discussed in previous posts, including:

Exclusive (and Partial) Enteral Nutrition:

  • “The most widely studied dietary intervention.” It has been shown to be effective for CD.  More elemental formulas have NOT been shown to be more effective.  “EEN and PEN therapy is less likely to normalize fecal levels of calprotectin in children.”
  • “Dietary therapy reduced inflammation and led to changes in the microbiome within 1 week. Unlike TNF antagonists, however, the changes to the microbiome induced by EEN did not lead to a microbiome resembling that of healthy individuals.”

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD):

  • This diet has been studied in small populations.  Suskind et al reported SCD effectiveness “in 7 children with CD…showed that fecal calprotectin level decreased from a mean of 685 mcg/g to 213 mcg/g at 2-6 after starting the diet.”  “Cohen et al used video capsule endoscopy…in 10 children with CD…Four of 10 children achieved complete mucosal healing (Lewis score <135) and 6 of 10 children achieved clinical remission.”

Low FODMAP diet:

  • While the diet may induce symptom improvement, there is no “evidence that a low FODMAP diet reduces inflammation.”

Vitamin D supplementation:

  • “Vitamin D has multiple potential beneficial effects on intestinal inflammation.” The authors review studies that report lower risk of CD in patients with higher vitamin D levels and on the reduction in relapse in a study of CD patients who were in remission and  treated with Vitamin D (1200 IU daily)

Curcumin supplementation:

  • The authors review two small studies which suggested that curcumin for patients with ulcerative colitis increased clinical remission (when used with mesalamine)

The overall advice the authors give is that patients “should be advised to eat a well-balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean-style diet, avoiding processed foods or foods that they self-identify as worsening their symptoms.  Patients who are committed to attempting to manage their disease predominantly through dietary modification should be counseled about the importance of assessing for resolution of inflammation in addition to symptoms.”

Other Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Nutrition Symposium Georgia AAP (Part 1)

At this year’s nutrition symposium, Dr. Stan Cohen presented the latest information on nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease.  His entire presentation will be on the Nutrition4Kids website.  While I took a few pictures, my notes from his presentation were minimal, mainly because I had to give a talk afterwards.  He reviewed how the microbiome can be influenced by diet and that this in turn can result in phenotypic changes.  Specific complications from poor diet/nutrient deficiencies were discussed.  In addition, data from exclusive enteral nutrition and the specific carbohydrate diet were presented. Here are some slides from his lecture (also available at Georgia AAP Symposium Website):

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Gut Microbiome, Crohn’s Disease and Effect of Diet

At this past year’s NASPGHAN conference, Bob Baldassano indicated that a low-residue diet probably does not makes sense for the majority of patients with Crohn’s disease because it would not promote a ‘healthy’ gut microbiome.  Another article (Walter SS, Quiros A, et al. SOJ Microbiol Infect Dis 2014; 2: 1-13) supporting this argument has been published. (Thanks to Ben Gold for giving me this reference.)

In this study, the authors examined the gut microbiome from two healthy volunteers and compared them to six patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) (ages 16-50).  The CD cohort were in clinical remission and were not receiving probiotics.  Subjects were randomized to either a low-residue diet (LRD) or a specific carbohydrate diet (SCD).

Besides having some cool figures to explain their results, the key points:

  • The complexity of the gut microbiome was lower in IBD patients compared to healthy controls
  • Bacteroides fragilis was increased in fecal samples of IBD positive patients
  • There was a temporal response of gut microbiome to SCD with increased microbial diversity while the LRD diet was associated with a reduced diversity of the microbiome in patients with CD

While the number of patients participating in this study are low, the affects of these diets can still be measured due to the trillions of microbes in the gut microbiome.

Also noted: Church PC, Turner D, et al. Aliment Phamacol There 2015; 41: 153-66. “Systematic review with meta-analysis: magnetic resonance enterography for the detection of inflammation and intestinal damage in Crohn’s disease.”

How the gut micro biome may affect other diseases including Multiple Sclerosis: Study Hints Gut Microbiome Plays a Role in Multiple Sclerosis (Link to Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)

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From NASPGHAN:  Introducing New Website for Teens with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: JustLikeMeIBD.org  PRESS RELEASE

New York, NY- January 20, 2015 – The number of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients in the U.S. has now increased to an estimated 1.6 million, with approximately 5 percent of that patient population under the age of 18. In response to the growing number of kids with IBD, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) along with the NASPGHAN Foundation for Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition, has launched a new website called “Just Like Me” for teenagers with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The interactive site will feature stories and videos from teens with IBD as well as information on school, dating, stress, diet, and research.

 

 

Specific Carbohydrate Diet in Children -Ahead of Print

Here is a link, bit.ly/1xb1kk8, (from JPGN) and the abstract to an article on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in Children.  This study shows clinical improvement and mucosal healing, confirmed by capsule endoscopy, in response to the specific carbohydrate diet (SCN). Congratulations to my colleagues/partners from GI Care for Kids who published this study in JPGN:

Objective: To prospectively evaluate clinical and mucosal responses to the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) in children with Crohn’s disease (CD).

Methods: Eligible patients with active CD (Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index, PCDAI >= 15) underwent a patency capsule and if passed intact, capsule endoscopy (CE) was performed. Patients were monitored on SCD for 52 weeks while maintaining all prescribed medications. Demographic, dietary and clinical information, PCDAI, Harvey Bradshaw (HB) and Lewis score (LS) were collected at 0, 12 and 52 weeks. CE’s were evaluated by an experienced reader blinded to patient clinical information and timing.

Results: Sixteen patients were screened; 10 enrolled; and 9 completed the initial 12 week trial; receiving 85 % of estimated caloric needs prior to, and 101%, on the SCD. HB significantly decreased from 3.3 + 2.0 to 0.6 + 1.3 (p = 0.007) as did PCDAI (21.1 + 5.9 to 7.8 + 7.1; p = 0.011). LS declined significantly from 2153 + 732 to 960 + 433 (p = 0.012). Seven patients continued the SCD to 52 weeks with HB (0.1 + 0.4) and PCDAI (5.4 + 5.5) remaining improved (p = 0.016 and 0.027 compared to baseline) with mean LS at 1046 + 372 and 2 patients showing sustained mucosal healing.

Impressions: Clinical and mucosal improvements were seen in children with CD using the SCD over 12 and 52 weeks. Additionally, CE can monitor mucosal improvement in treatment trials for pediatric CD. Further studies are critically needed to understand the mechanisms underlying SCD’s effectiveness in children with CD.

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The Search for a Dietary Culprit in IBD

Uniformly, patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease, are interested in whether there is a dietary culprit which triggered their IBD and what modifications in their diet can help improve their IBD.  A really good summary of what we know has been published (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 732-41).

A summary of the key points:

Traditional dietary recommendations:  These diets may help decrease symptoms but are not thought to improve disease control.

  • Low-residue: <10-15 g/d of fiver. Potential deficiencies: folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.  Overall, this diet is poorly studied.  “One small randomized controlled trial showed that low-residue diet made no difference in symptoms, need for hospitalization, need for surgery…when compared with an unrestricted diet.”
  • Lactose-free: potential deficiencies: calcium, vitamin D

Carbohydrate-restrictive:  Potential deficiencies with all carbohydrate restriction: folate, thiamine, vitamin B6

  • Specific carbodydrate diet: allows only monosaccharides.  Restricts complex sugars, starches, grains and legumes.  This diet was popularized by Elaine Gottschall in 1994 (Breaking the Vicious Cycle) but was developed by Dr. Sidney Haas in 1924.  The premise of SCD is that “complex carbohydrates and legumes are poorly absorbed in gastrointestinal disease…they promote bacterial overgrowth and fermentation.  By-products from bacterial dysbiossis are postulated to contribute to gut inflammation.”  Nevertheless, it “has been poorly studied.”
  • Low FODMAPs (see numerous previous posts).  “A small restrospective study…showed that the low FODMAPs diet resulted in improvement in functional symptoms present in patients with IBD who were in remission.”  This diet is difficult for long-term adherence.
  • Gluten-free: not truly a carbohydrate-restrictive diet, but breads/cereals contain large amounts of carbs. “No evidence that a gluten-free diet has any effect on disease activity in IBD.”

Fat-modified diets

  • Fat-restrictive diets: “On a cellular level, multiple animal studies have shown that prolonged feeding of a high-fat diet seems to promote colitis/ileitis and to perturb barrier function…shifts in microbiome composition…Despite some biologic plausibility, there is a paucity of data evaluating efficacy of fat-restrictive diet for IBD management.”
  • Vegetarian/semi-vegetarian: Potential deficiencies: iron, vitamin B12 (vegans), calcium, vitamin D, ω-3 fatty acids.   A small study of 22 patients with Crohn’s disease who adhered to a semi-vegetarian diet, had lower rate of relapse.  “There does not seem to be sufficient evidence at this time to recommend eliminating meat to patients with IBD as a means to control their disease.”
  • Modified ratio of ω-3/ω-6 polyunsaturated fat: “The efficacy of dietary interventions with ω-3 PUFA has been disappointing..recently, 2 large multicenter clinical trials demonstrated that ω-3 PUFA (fish oil) at a dose of 4 g/day was not significantly better than placebo at maintaining remission in CD.”

Restriction of Multiple food groups

  • Paleolithic: based on the “premise that human genetics have scarcely changed over the past 3000 years, and thus modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors (i.e. Stone Age)…daily calories should come from plant sources (50-65%) and from animal sources (35-45%) with fish preferred over meat.  Most of the restricted foods are carbohydrates..refined salt, and refined oils as well as any “processed foods.”  However, there are “no data that this diet has any effect in IBD.”  Previous reports of improvement in IBD are mainly testimonials (anecdotal evidence).
  • Exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN)/Elemental/Semielemental: In pediatric CD, “EEN has been shown to be as effective as corticosteroids in inducing remission (70-90%)..EEN does not seem to be effective in UC.”  High rate of relapse when diet is stopped.  Formula type does not seem to be very important.

Take-home message: “Clinical trials in all dietary strategies (with possible exception of EEN in pediatric patients) are lacking and further study is needed.” “From the current evidence available, a low FODMAPS or gluten-free diet may be the most helpful in controlling diarrheal and bloating symptoms…However, …symptom improvement does not equate to remission or objective evidence of disease regression.”

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ImproveCareNow has published information on IBD and Nutrition as well.  Here’s an excerpt from their Circle eNewsletter:(initially published April 2013, Stacie Townsend, MS, RD, LDN, CSP)

Diet is an important part of your IBD treatment plan and should be used in conjunction with medications. Proper nutrition plays a critical role in managing IBD. Eating healthfully and in appropriate amounts will improve IBD symptoms, contribute to age-appropriate growth, and decrease risk of anemia, poor bone density, and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. It can also increase effectiveness of IBD medications.

No one diet has been proven to prevent IBD or to prevent flare ups, although several diet books and plans have claimed to “cure IBD”. Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence to prove that these diet plans, such as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (still being studied) and the Guts and Glory Program, are effective, and most of these plans avoid entire food groups, which can then lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and poor weight gain.

Nutritionists frequently get asked what foods are safe for people with IBD, and creating a diet plan for you is often trial and error… The best diet plan is one that includes all food groups (proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and oils) and in appropriate portions for your age, weight, and physical activity level… If gas, bloating, and diarrhea are among your symptoms, lactose free dairy products may be better tolerated.

So what IS the most appropriate diet for IBD? The United States Department of Agriculture’s food guidance system, MyPlate, is the appropriate diet plan for you… and the SuperTracker within the MyPlate website can help you track what you eat each day, and how your diet measures up to the recommended diet plan for you.

General nutrition guidelines for individuals with IBD include:

  • choose foods from all food groups
  • limit fried/fatty foods, caffeine and spicy foods, especially if these foods worsen symptoms of IBD
  • drink fluids at each meal to maintain hydration
  • consume a multivitamin daily to aid nutrient absorption
  • consume small frequent meals (eat every 2-3 hours while awake) if volume of foods at a meal is an issue

…If you want additional help with your diet, make an appointment to see our nutritionist.

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.