Diet research receives funding boost

08 August 2019

One of our researchers, Dr Konstantinos Gerasimidis has received almost £1million to take on further research into CD-TREAT, a special diet that uses everyday food to achieve the same gut microbiome changes as those seen in the liquid-only diet exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN).

This new research is linked to a study we have jointly funded with BSPGHAN, in which Dr Gerasimidis looked into the role of the microbiome (fungi in the gut) in children with Crohn’s. The study found that specific types of fungi were associated with Crohn’s and some of these species changed with a treatment based on a liquid diet.

In his new study, which was published in Gastroenterology, Dr Gerasimidis and his team assessed the effect CD-TREAT had on the gut microbiome and inflammation. The research found that three out of five children with active Crohn's treated with CD-TREAT entered complete remission on the food-based diet, and their gut inflammation decreased. The healthy adults who took part in the trial preferred CD-TREAT than the liquid-only EEN.

CD-TREAT involves a carefully designed meal plan including food such as chicken and rice soup, salmon and mashed potatoes, which has been designed to replicate the nutritional profile of EEN and its effects in the microbiome. 

We are optimistic that the clinical effect of CD-TREAT will be replicated in larger studies and will compare well with other mainstream drug therapies

Dr Konstantinos Gerasimidis

"If these initial findings are replicated, doctors, nurses and dietitians will be able to decrease or replace potentially harmful and expensive drugs and even avoid surgery, for at least some patients. All of these have clear implications for improving the quality of life of patients with Crohn's Disease."

Now, Dr Gerasimidis and his team at the University of Glasgow have received more than £900,000 from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to take this research further.

Helen Terry, Director of Research at Crohn’s & Colitis UK says, “It’s fantastic to see one our researchers receiving a significant amount of funding to further our understanding of the gut microbiome in people with Crohn’s and how diet could be a viable treatment option. The link between diet and Crohn’s and Colitis is always of interest to our members and supporters and we are excited to see the effectiveness of CD-TREAT in a larger trial.”

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