Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutrition and intestinal function are intimately interrelated. The chief purpose of the gut is to digest and absorb nutrients in order to maintain life. Consequently, chronic gastrointestinal disease commonly results in malnutrition and increased morbidity and mortality. For example, studies have shown that 50-70% of adult patients with Crohn's disease were weight-depleted and 75% of adolescents growth-retarded. On the other hand, chronic malnutrition impairs digestive and absorptive function because food and nutrients are not only the major trophic factors to the gut but also provide the building blocks for digestive enzymes and absorptive cells. The appropriate diet may have a profound effect on intestinal recovery and successful management of chronic or severe gastrointestinal disease.