New Diet Study Highlights Potential Benefits of AIP Diet for IBD Patients

Blog type

November 22, 2017
Posted by: Saleha Hossain


As Thanksgiving approaches, we understand that many of our patients may be thinking about the foods they may want to avoid this holiday season. Thankfully, researchers across the country have been working to better understand the role certain diets can play in the management of IBD.

Last month, we blogged about Dr. Lewis’ clinical trial comparing a standard carbohydrate diet (SCD) with a Mediterranean diet. This month, we are highlighting a small study, featured in IBD News Today, which looks at the efficacy of an autoimmune protocol diet (AIP diet). The AIP diet stems from the Paleolithic diet, which is often characterized by the consumption of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and the exclusion of dairy products, grains, and legumes from one’s diet. The study is supported by Scripps Clinic Medical Group Research & Education Award and the NIH/NCATS CTSA Award.

Along with environmental factors, diet and the gut microbiome both play prominent roles in influencing the course of IBD.  Researchers conducted a prospective study to evaluate if the AIP diet was effective in helping patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis avoid foods and certain medications which trigger inflammation in the gut.

After six weeks, 11 of the 15 patients in the study achieved clinical remission and maintained remission during the maintenance phase of the study. In addition to achieving clinical remission, researchers also noted improvements in fecal calprotectin numbers, as well as endoscopic improvements in the mucosal appearance in an endoscopy following the study.  

This research, although it only features a small cohort of patients, highlights how diet modifications can benefit patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the management of their diseases. More research is still needed to fully understand if the AIP diet is beneficial in a larger group of patients.

To read more about this study, please visit the IBD Journal’s full, published article here.

Author: Saleha Houssain is the Grants Coordinator for the Research Department at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

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