The Specific Carbohydrate Diet in the Treatment of Crohn’s Disease: A Systematic Review

Nora Maeve McCormick, John V Logomarsino


AIM: The present systematic review aims to collect and review existing research related to the use of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a nutritional treatment for Crohn’s disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four medical databases were examined in order to perform an exhaustive search for studies that used the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as an intervention in a population of individuals with Crohn’s disease. Eight studies with a variety of observational designs met the predetermined inclusion criteria.

RESULTS: All 8 studies demonstrated clinical benefits of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a component of the management of Crohn’s disease. Specific outcomes included symptom improvement (both objective and subjective), improvement in laboratory measures, and initiation or maintenance of remission. However, there were weaknesses in the design of some studies that were considered in the interpretation of results.

CONCLUSION: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet shows promise as a nutritional treatment for Crohn’s disease, both in adults and children. However, further research may be needed, with stronger study designs, before clinicians can routinely recommend it.


Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Crohn’s Disease; diet therapy

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