Big News out of UMASS: New Study on SCD-like Diet Shows Huge Promise for Treating IBD

Posted January 15th, 2012 in Recent News.

[Credit to Karen Rosen and Raman Prasad over at for alerting me to this new study]

In December 2011, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (Worcester) released an abstract of a recent study on a diet very similar to the SCD. Professor Barbara Olendzki and her team treated 11 patients (8 with Crohn’s, 3 with UC) who were not responding to medication regimens. Over a 6-10 month period, patients were instructed on how to follow the diet and given cooking instruction. Disease activity was measured pre- and post-treatment.

100% of patients treated with the new diet showed significant improvement in their symptoms. Additionally, the majority of subjects were able to reduce their reliance on medications to treat their IBD.

The researchers call their version of the SCD the Anti-Inflammatory Diet for IBD (IBD-AID). Their description follows:

“The Anti-Inflammatory Diet for IBD (IBD-AID), which is derived and augmented from The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), is a nutritional regimen that restricts the intake of complex carbohydrates such as refined sugar, gluten-based grains, and certain starches from the diet. These carbohydrates are thought to provide a substrate for pro-inflammatory bacteria. The second component of the diet involves the ingestion of pre- and probiotics to help restore an anti inflammatory environment.”

Click HERE to read an abstract of the study.

Click HERE for a more complete summary of the study with statistics.

Click HERE for a Raman’s summary at

7 thoughts on “Big News out of UMASS: New Study on SCD-like Diet Shows Huge Promise for Treating IBD”

  1. David S. Fortsch, Sr. says:

    I want to thank you for conducting the study and would like be be advised of any future results regarding your further studies. I have had and continue to have Crohn’s/UC since late 2006 and after a couple of years of addressing the issue with medication only, increasing in dose and severity (including using Humira), my only medical treatment option was to have surgery. My wife Christine found the SCD on the web and instead of the surgury, we made the very drastic change of diet based wholely on the SCD. Since, then I have reduced medication from 1 shot of Humira, prednisone during flares, 3600 mg of Lialda and 100 mg of Mercaptopurine (MP-6) down to 1200 mg of Lialda and 100 mg of MP-6. I’m looking for ways to reduce medication altogether and I’m hoping your study can provide a path forward to achieving this.

    Thanks again.

    David S. Fortsch, Sr.

    1. Finn says:

      Hi David, thanks for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress by using diet as a complementary approach. If I follow you correctly, you were able to cancel your planned surgery and improve your condition to the point of only requiring a small dose of one of the 5-ASAs? That’s good news, David. I have an email into Rush at the moment, looking for an update on their study. I’ll share once I have it.

  2. Miguel Quinonez says:

    I have suffered from severe and chronic UC for the past 17 years. Diarrhea at times was over 20 times a day. Malabsorption, dehydration and Candida took a very heavy toll. I literately had no immune system left.

    Went through all the normal medicine regimes without success. I spent a week of testing at the Mayo Clinic, have seen too many specialists to count and have taken every medication possible including some experimentals. Massive amounts of Mesalamine and the wonderful/horrible Prednison. Of course, all are designed to treat the symptoms, not the cause. All to no avail.

    I came very, very close to dying several times and a few trips to ICU were needed to keep me alive.

    Of course, all the surgeons recommended taking out my colon because that’s what surgeons do, surgery. Of course, that would not have fixed my real problem.

    I started the SCD diet only two weeks ago and have had more real improvement than at any time before. I will stick with it for at least 6 months but I believe I have found the answer to my problem. For the first time in many years, I actually feel normal. Amazing!!!

    SCD is the ONLY theory that has ever made sense to me and I’ve been actively searching every day for years.

    The diet may seem restrictive to many but it’s really just a life-style change. To avoid the hell I’ve been through, I’ll do anything and this one is easy.

    I highly recommend the SCD diet for those with similar issues.

    1. Finn says:

      Miguel, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’m guessing there will be more than a few readers of this post who will find elements of your story that hit close to home.

      One thing I can certainly relate to is the feeling of helplessness that sets in when you feel like your body is fighting you and is no longer your ally. Many members of our community have reported going through what you did – the various medication regimens, the possibility of surgery, etc. What I often hear from the individuals who call me is that they find temporary improvement with a certain approach, but wrestle with finding something that works over the long-haul. So, the question everyone reading your email probably wants to know is “have you stuck with the diet?” And, has it worked for you? Please give us an update when convenient. I’ll be hoping you are in remission and out enjoying life right now 🙂

  3. Kathy beecroft says:

    Hi i’m a Mom of a 18 year old who is suffering from UC. I’v just discovered the scd and hoping this will be the answer… she also is on mesalamines & remicade with no change. Since I’m new to this scd I have a question regarding reading labels on juice bottles. Is Pure sugar cane a legal or illegal ingrediant. Can somebody out there tell me… Sincerly KB

  4. Finn says:

    Hi Kathy!

    I’m afraid pure sugar cane is illegal on the diet. In case you were wondering, evaporated cane juice is also illegal. Both are found in many so-called “health foods,” but chemically are very similar to regular sugar.

    I hope your 18 year old is trying to stay with the diet. I just received an email tonight from a mother whose 12 year old daughter has been on the diet for one year, and her symptoms have gone away. She’s almost entirely off meds now. It can be hard in the beginning, but any encouragement you can give your child will make a huge difference.

    Be well, and Happy New Year 🙂

  5. Ellamae Sibeto says:

    It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses – including heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. We all know inflammation on the surface of the body as local redness, heat, swelling and pain. It is the cornerstone of the body’s healing response, bringing more nourishment and more immune activity to a site of injury or infection. But when inflammation persists or serves no purpose, it damages the body and causes illness. ,-::

    Take a look at all of the most recent piece of writing at our homepage

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