J Dig Cancer Res.  2022 Jun;10(1):31-38. 10.52927/jdcr.2022.10.1.31.

Interaction between Dietary Factors and Gut Microbiota in Ulcerative Colitis

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea


Ulcerative colitis (UC) exhibits chronic intestinal inflammatory conditions with cycles of relapse and remission. The incidence is rapidly growing in Asian countries including South Korea possibly due to changes in lifestyles. Although the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease is inconclusive, gut microbiota composition is considered a critical factor involved in the pathogenesis of UC. The overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria evokes hyper-immune responses in gut epithelium causing tissue inflammation and damage. Also, failure to regulate gut epithelium integrity due to chronic inflammation and mucus depletion accelerates bacterial translocation aggravating immune dysregulation. Gut microbiota composition responds to the diet in a very rapid manner. Epidemiological studies have indicated that the risk of UC is associated with low plant foods/high animal foods consumption. Several bacterial strains consistently found depleted in UC patients use plant food-originated dietary fiber producing short chain fatty acids to maintain epithelial integrity. These bacteria also use mucus layer mucin to keep gut microbiota diversity. These studies partly explain the association between dietary modification of gut microbiota in UC development. Further human intervention trials are required to allow the use of specific bacterial strains in the management of UC.


Ulcerative colitis; Diet; Gut microbiota; Mucin
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