Guest Lecture: Diet in Crohn’s Disease

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Speaker:  Alastair ForbesProfessor of Medicine


The talk will look at diet in Crohn’s disease from several different angles.  There is evidence that diet has an important effect on the
aetiopathogenesis of the condition, which becomes more common as countries move towards a western industrialised diet.
The curious condition of “fat wrapping” of the intestine is pathognomonic of Crohn’s and is also probably related to the intake of
dietary components.  Diet is important in the management  of active Crohn’s disease – obviously so when there are strictures which prevent the utilisation of ordinary fibre-containing foods, or when the patient is malnourished.  Diet is also crucial in respect of a series of therapeutic trials where defined formula feeds have been used as the primary treatment option rather than drugs.  Although the evidence base is not securely robust, this now forms the first-line approach in paediatrics and is subject to continued research to
determine the optimal composition for an unambiguous benefit in adults too.

About the Speaker:

Since 2014 Alastair Forbes has been Professor of Medicine and Academic Lead for Gastroenterology and Nutrition in the Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in the UK. He is the Director of Clinical Research for the School, and holds a parallel appointment with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he is Chief of Research and Innovation.

He was previously professor of gastroenterology and nutrition at UCL in London, and before that was consultant at St. Mark’s Hospital also in London.  He has been Education Director for the European Society for Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), Secretary of the British Society of Gastroenterology, and Chairman of BAPEN, the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.  He is an associate editor of Clinical Nutrition.

Prof Forbes’ interests lie mainly in inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal failure. He has written more than 240 original papers, with a Scopus “h” score of 58, together with over 130 review articles, and contributions to many national and international guidelines.


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