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Dietary habits in patients with ulcerative colitis — a cause of nutrient deficiency?

Food and Nutrition Sciences Apr 23, 2022

Why this study matters

Many UC patients restrict their diet based on bowel symptom-associated discomfort and recommendations from Internet sources. Without professional healthcare provider guidance, supplementation is often inadequate for at-risk micronutrient deficiencies, but may be excessive for micronutrients not at-risk for deficiency. 

Study design

Twenty-five UC patients with an average disease duration of 15 years were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic at Aalborg University Hospital (Denmark). A semi-structured qualitative interview was conducted to determine dietary restrictions and use of supplements. The interview specifically addressed the following:  alcohol; dairy products; meat; cereals; vegetables; and supplements.

Results and conclusion

Greater than 60% of study participants had no or reduced intake of milk, one-third of whom used calcium supplements.

Bread, meats and alcohol were restricted from the diets of approximately 50% of study participants. Of the 40% of study participants who used vitamin supplements for general health maintenance, vitamin supplements were not used to compensate for dietary restrictions.

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