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Diet as a risk factor for the development of ulcerative colitis

American Journal of Gastroenterology volume 95, pages 10081013 (2000) | Download Citation




Dietary factors have been considered as a possible risk factor for ulcerative colitis (UC). However, available data are inconsistent. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the etiological role of dietary factors in the development of UC.


Recently diagnosed (<6 Months) UC patients (n = 43) and age- and gender-matched population controls (n = 43) were studied in a case-control design. The cross-check dietary history method was used to assess dietary intake of 5 yr before the study. Adipose tissue fatty acid composition was used as a biomarker of long-term fat intake. Conditional logistic regression-derived odds ratios (OR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used for statistical analysis. Dietary intake ORs were adjusted for energy intake.


High intakes of monounsaturated fat (OR: 33.9 [95% CI 2.6–443.1]), polyunsaturated fat (OR: 5.1 [95% CI 1.0–26.7]), and vitamin B6 (OR: 6.9 [95% CI 1.6–30.7]) were associated with an increased risk to develop UC. No other significant associations were found with UC risk.


High intakes of mono- and polyunsaturated fat and vitamin B6 may enhance the risk of developing UC. Whether this observation is a true risk factor in the development of UC or rather a reflection of a certain dietary lifestyle needs to be investigated.

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This study was financially supported by a grant from Novartis Nutrition, Ltd (Switzerland).

Author information


  1. Department of Gastroenterology, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

    • B J Geerling
    • , M G Russel
    • , R W Stockbrügger
    •  & R -J M Brummer
  2. Department of Epidemiology, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

    • P C Dagnelie
  3. Department of Human Biology, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

    • A Badart-Smook


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Correspondence to B J Geerling.

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