Most of patients with moderate-to-severe disease are in a constant catabolic state resulting in poor weight gain and growth failure.

Researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, in New York City studied whether an exclusion diet combined with nutraceutical therapy could induce sustained remission of disease with weight gain, and enhance the ability for growth hormone to reverse growth failure.

First, the details.

  • 6 patients with moderate-to-severe juvenile Crohn’s disease were treated with an exclusion diet + nutraceutical therapy.
    • An elimination diet (aka food challenge diet) excludes a specific food (or group of foods) to determine whether the food is responsible for symptoms of a disorder.
    • 2 of these patients had completed growth.
  • Diet
    • Adequate caloric and protein (at least 3g/kg/day) intake for catch-up weight was prescribed.
    • Dairy products, certain grains, and carrageenan-containing foods were eliminated.
    • Nutraceuticals, consisting of fish peptides, bovine colostrum, Boswellia serrata, curcumin and a multivitamin was administered daily.
    • Lactobacillus GG, a probiotic, was administered twice weekly.
  • Recombinant human GH (rhGH) was administered daily.

And, the results.

  • Within 2 months of starting the diet all 6 patients went into remission, and stopped taking all pharmacological drugs.
    • 3 patients remained in sustained remission for 4 to 8 years.
    • 1 patient with severe Crohn’s disease had recurrence of symptoms after being in remission for 18 months.
    • 1 patient in remission for 3 years had a recurrence of disease when she became less compliant to the diet.
    • 1 recently treated patient remains in remission after 6 months.
  • With the addition of rhGH, the 4 growing patients had good-to-excellent growth response.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “These findings justify larger controlled trials to evaluate the long-term benefit of compliance to an exclusion diet with nutraceutical therapy in both juvenile and adult Crohn’s disease patients.”

5/8/10 16:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.