Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Treatment of Crohn's disease with an unrefined-carbohydrate, fibre-rich diet.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 29 September 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:764
  1. K W Heaton,
  2. J R Thornton,
  3. P M Emmett


    Thirty-two patients with Crohn's disease were treated with a fibre-rich, unrefined-carbohydrate diet in addition to conventional management and followed for a mean of four years and four months. Their clinical course was compared retrospectively with that of 32 matched patients who had received no dietary instruction. Hospital admissions were significantly fewer and shorter in the diet-treated patients, who spent a total of 111 days in hospital compared with 533 days in the non-diet-treated control group. Whereas five of the controls required intestinal operation, only one diet-treated patient needed surgery. This is in strong contrast to general experience with this disease. Treatment with a fibre-rich, unrefined-carbohydrate diet appears to have a favourable effect on the course of Crohn's disease and does not lead to intestinal obstruction.