People with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis sometimes use restrictive diets to help manage their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A common diet for this purpose is called The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is a nutritionally balanced diet focused on removing grains and most dairy and sugars and emphasizing vegetables, fruits, meats, and nuts.
Although this diet is often used with patients who have IBD, there’s a need for more scientific evidence on its effectiveness and potential harms.
The diet is also fairly strict, which makes it difficult to follow for some families.
In 2018, researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center launched an N-of-1 study to compare the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) with a similar, but more flexible version of the SCD (the modified SCD).
Participants started by eating their typical diet for two weeks, and then were randomly assigned to either the SCD or the modified version. After 8 weeks, the participants switched diets.
Researchers hope these N-of-1 trials will give them information about how these diets work for individual patients as well as which diets are most effective for different types of patients. The study is still collecting data.