[Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and nutrition].Schweiz Med Wochenschr Suppl. 1996; 79:14S-24S.SM
The etiology of inflammatory bowel disease is still unknown. Several potential mechanisms are discussed. The etiological and therapeutic importance of nutrition is controversial. Though changes in dietary habits and incidence of inflammatory bowel disease during the last century were in parallel, no specific nutritional factor has been isolated. No dietary prophylaxis of inflammatory bowel disease is yet known; all dietary therapies in inflammatory bowel disease aim to improve nutritional support and to diminish inflammation by bowel rest. Children and adolescents gain in weight and height. Total parenteral nutrition will not substantially reduce disease activity and operation rates. Total parenteral nutrition can only be recommended in ulcerative colitis patients with severe disease in the initial phase and in Crohn's patients with severe malnutrition and intestinal complications. Enteral nutrition support is less effective in ulcerative colitis than in Crohn's disease. Reported remission rates on enteral nutrition are 25% for ulcerative colitis and up to 80% for Crohn. However, in active Crohn's disease enteral nutrition is less effective than standard therapy with methylprednisolone and sulfasalizine. It is generally believed that nutrition therapy in combination with drugs is the best treatment modality. There is no evidence to support the importance of any combination of the formula diets such as elemental, oligopeptide, or polymeric formulations. Administration of formula diets by nasogastric tubes all show similar remission rates. Whether newer diets supplemented with arginine, glutamine, omega-3-fatty acids or short chain fatty acids increase remission rates is not known. Further studies in this field are warranted.