Experts from United European Gastroenterology have called for an urgent intervention to ensure children with inflammatory bowel disease meet the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D to reduce their risk for poor bone health and development, calcium homeostasis imbalance and vitamin D deficiencies.
“It is imperative that health care professionals provide all IBD patients with regular and frequent advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits, including guidance on food sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D,” Gigi Veereman, MD, PhD, UEG pediatric IBD expert, said in a press release. “Tailored care services, long-term follow up, regular reviews and frequent medical interventions are required to minimize additional health risk in our pediatric patients.”
A study presented at the ECCO Congress in February prompted the society’s call to action. In the study, just 26.6% of children with IBD had adequate calcium intake, and just 21.3% of them had adequate vitamin D intake.
Calcium and vitamin D play key roles in bone health, so adequate intake is important for children with IBD as they may have poorer bone health and a higher risk for height deficits compared with children without IBD. Vitamin D has also been recently shown “to potentiate the effect of anti-inflammatory treatments,” according to the press release.
However, ensuring adequate intake can be difficult, according to Rita Shergill-Bonner, BSc, SRD, PGD, study investigator and principle dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.
“When taking into account their young age and modern eating habits, coupled with the emotional, psychological and physical stress of living with IBD, it can be hard for pediatric patients to maintain a balanced diet and a sufficient intake of the right nutrients,” she said in the press release. “We therefore urge the parents and carers of pediatric IBD patients to monitor their children’s diets carefully to ensure they are consuming the right foods to help their disease course and ensure adequate and normal development.” – by Adam Leitenberger
Shergill-Bonner R., et al. Abstract P707. Presented at The 12th Congress of ECCO; February 15-18, 2017; Barcelona.
Disclosures: Healio Gastroenterology was unable to confirm the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.