The past 3 years have seen numerous research investigations come to the same conclusions: Crohn’s disease is a function of both an individual’s diet and their microbiota. Many individuals suffer severe flare-ups with exposure to long chained carbohydrates from specific starches and grains that survive upper GI digestion and end up feeding the wrong bacteria in the mid to lower GI. There is an increasingly popular approach to mitigating these conditions with strict enteral nutrition therapy (1).
Most enteral formulas are comprised of highly refined carbohydrates, digested and absorbed easily in the more proximal intestine, that do not persist to where they can feed populations of bacteria further on. This produces favorable results to a typical oral diet made up of a variety of foods, many of which contribute to the bacterial overgrowth. Additionally, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) offers great benefits (2,3,4) to those with Crohn’s as it provides strict guidelines around eating whole foods that do not contain long chain starches. This is also a very healthy diet rich in vegetables, lower fructose fruits, and lactose free dairy products. Some studies have produced remission of Crohn’s in pediatric populations (D. Suskind MD-led study at Seattle Children’s Hospital most recently).
Functional Formularies Liquid Hope and Nourish represent both the enteral and SCD approach. Both of these adult and pediatric formulas are blended to a viscosity that is conducive to a wide variety of feeding options and each are made with only SCD-aligned ingredients. The sweet potato and chickpeas are both cooked and processed extensively to break down their fructo-oligosaccharide content. With the SCD protocol, legumes are ok if extensively soaked and/or cooked. All remaining ingredients are also excellent matches for this type of intervention.
Additionally, Liquid Hope and Nourish provide fermentable fiber and whole food ingredients. There is no added sugar or refined carbohydrates and the ingredients offer much more than just calories, protein, and fat. The plants included offer numerous antioxidants and polyphenolic substances with known anti-inflammatory effects. Crohn’s patients and their families do not have to choose between an enteral nutrition intervention or an SCD approach, they can have both in one formula.
~ John Bagnulo MPH, PhD.