UBC Faculty Research and Publications
Fiber and Prebiotic Interventions in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: What Role Does the Gut Microbiome Play? Healey, Genelle R.; Celiberto, Larissa S.; Lee, Soo Min; Jacobson, Kevan
The etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is complex but is thought to be linked to an intricate interaction between the host’s immune system, resident gut microbiome and environment, i.e., diet. One dietary component that has a major impact on IBD risk and disease management is fiber. Fiber intakes in pediatric IBD patients are suboptimal and often lower than in children without IBD. Fiber also has a significant impact on beneficially shaping gut microbiota composition and functional capacity. The impact is likely to be particularly important in IBD patients, where various studies have demonstrated that an imbalance in the gut microbiome, referred to as dysbiosis, occurs. Microbiome-targeted therapeutics, such as fiber and prebiotics, have the potential to restore the balance in the gut microbiome and enhance host gut health and clinical outcomes. Indeed, studies in adult IBD patients demonstrate that fiber and prebiotics positively alter the microbiome and improve disease course. To date, no studies have been conducted to evaluate the therapeutic potential of fiber and prebiotics in pediatric IBD patients. Consequently, pediatric IBD specific studies that focus on the benefits of fiber and prebiotics on gut microbiome composition and functional capacity and disease outcomes are required.
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