Examining diet as therapy for ulcerative colitis

Examining diet as therapy for ulcerative colitis

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital IBD Service is currently running a trial using diet as a therapy for Ulcerative Colitis (UC). The best diet for Ulcerative Colitis is currently unknown, therefore we are trailing a new diet to determine whether diet influences inflammation in the colon.

Who is eligible?

Patients are eligible if they:

  • Are 18 years or over
  • Have mild-moderately active Ulcerative Colitis

What is expected of participants in this trial?

Patients who choose to participate will be randomly allocated to one of two whole-food diets – the intervention diet versus the placebo diet. They will need to follow dietary advice from the research dietitian for 8 weeks, which includes shopping, preparing and cooking their own meals. The meals are suitable for other household members who usually eat the same meals, and both diets are fresh, whole food diets and are nutritionally balanced.

As well as a flexible sigmoidoscopy at the start and end of the study, participants will need to attend 6 appointments over a 10-week period at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This includes blood, urine and stool collections at the start, middle and end of the trial.

Participants will continue to receive their usual medical therapy as prescribed by their IBD doctor. These medications must remain unchanged during the trial.

What are the benefits of participating?

Participants in the trial may not directly benefit from being involved. Potential benefits include following a nutritionally balanced diet and interaction with a dietitian, reduction in inflammation (Mayo score) and extra clinician-patient interactions.

Participation is voluntary

Participation in is voluntary. You do not have to be involved. Your medical care will not be affected in any way if you do not participate. You may withdraw from the project at any time after you have commenced on consultation with the study team and your Gastroenterologist. Participants who complete the study will receive a $400 contribution towards food shopping bills.


Your participation in the study is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone outside the study team without your consent. Your clinical data will be stored securely and confidentially on a password protected electronic dataset at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital; a de-identified version will be accessible only to the research team. Any information that is published will be done in a way that protects your identity.


Principal Investigators:

  • Dr Robert Bryant (Gastroenterologist)
  • Mrs Alice Day (Dietitian)

Associate Investigators:

  • Dr Sam Costello
  • Dr Chu Yao
  • Dr Tom Goodsall
  • Professor Peter Gibson
  • Dr Sam Forster

Want to get involved?

Questions can be directed to EAT-UC study team on (08) 8222 8984 or Health.IBDresearchteam@sa.gov.au


Contributed by Alice Day, Senior Academic & Clinical Dietitian, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital