Research Article

Elemental diets in treatment of acute Crohn's disease.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 01 November 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1173
  1. C O'Morain,
  2. A W Segal,
  3. A J Levi


    Twenty-seven patients with 32 acute exacerbations of Crohn's disease were treated for four weeks with an elemental diet. At the end of treatment 29 of the exacerbations had remitted both clinically and biochemically. After six months six patients had relapsed. These findings suggest that the elemental diet is effective in treating acute Crohn's disease, but the reasons are not clear. The diet may be effective because it provides nutritional support, is hypoallergenic, acts as a medical bypass from the affected area, or alters bowel flora. The patient's general wellbeing is improved by the supply of adequate energy and essential foodstuffs in a form easily available without further digestion and given in a safe, simple, non-toxic way.