top of page

Is Dairy Foods Restriction Mandatory For Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

Updated: Jun 8


Pezhman Alavinejad, Morteza Nayebi, Abazar Parsi, Farnaz Farsi, Fatemeh Maghool, Zeinab Alipour, Mehdi Alimadadi, Mohammed Hussien Ahmed, Bahman Cheraghian, Dao Viet Hang, Shabnam Shahrokh, Mohammad Hasan Emami, Seyed Jalal Hashemi, Mohamed Alboraie, Damoon Dehnavi, Maryam Riazi, Seyed Saeid Seyedian, Mohamed H Emara, Luciano Lenz, Quang Trung Tran, Sam Shahinzadeh, Naser Ebrahimi Daryani, Eskandar Hajiani, Elham Karimi Moghaddam, Majid Mohammad Shahi, Maryam Rezvanifar, Tahereh Azimi

Published in Sep 2022, ARQ GASTROENTEROL.



The role of dairy foods in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been controversial and it is debatable if patients with IBD should avoid milk and dairy products or not, as well as the relationship between these foods and symptoms among those population.


This multi centric cross-sectional study designed to evaluate if it is really necessary to deprive IBD patients from consumption of dairy foods.


A multicenter study with 12 gastroenterology referral centers in four countries was designed to evaluate gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms after consumption of dairy foods from all outpatients with IBD during 6 months and to compare patients treated at the same centers without IBD (non IBD cases).


Overall 1888 cases included (872 IBD patients and 1016 non IBD cases). 56.6% of participants were female with average age of 40.1 years. Racially 79.8% participants were Caucasians and originally they were citizens of 10 countries. Relative prevalence of IBD was higher in Africans and Indians and the most frequent prevalence of dairy foods intolerance was seen in Asians. Among IBD patients, 571 cases diagnosed as ulcerative colitis and 189 participants as Crohn's disease. Average duration of diagnosis as IBD was 6.8 years (from 2 months to 35 years). The most prevalent GI symptoms after consumption of all the dairy foods were bloating and abdominal pain. Totally, intolerance of dairy foods and lactase deficiency was more prevalent among IBD patients in comparison with non IBD cases (65.5% vs 46.1%, P=0.0001). But the rate of GI complains among IBD patients who had not any family history of lactase deficiency, history of food sensitivity or both were 59.91%, 52.87% & 50.33% respectively and similar to non IBD cases (P=0.68, 0.98 & 0.99 respectively).

Conclusion: The rate of dairy foods intolerance among IBD patients without family history of lactase deficiency or history of food sensitivity is similar to non IBD cases and probably there is no reason to deprive them from this important source of dietary calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page