Vitamins & Minerals

To supplement or not…

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that essential for human life and required throughout life in small quantities. Always remember that in general, vitamins and minerals from food sources are better absorbed than when taken as supplements. Therefore, eating a variety of foods is the best method to supply your body with these essential nutrients. 

Talk to your doctor or dietician for personalised advice. People with IBD can lack these nutrients due to inflammation in the bowel, side effects of medications or surgery and also as a result of poor appetite or incorrect diet. This is particularly common for people with Crohn’s disease (and less with UC). If nutritional supplement is necessary, this should be discussed with your doctor or dietician.Here is a table showing the vitamins and minerals that are critical for patients with IBD and the food sources which are rich in these nutrients. Their role in the body is also briefly described. 

The foods in this table are likely to surprise you as they will probably not be what you expect! Generally well-known sources such as oranges, lemons and green-leafed vegetables are missing from the table. This is because we have excluded all plant sources with higher fibre and organic acid content (they are not well tolerated in IBD, especially during flare-ups). The food sources are listed in order (ranked by the amount of vitamin / mineral that can be found in the particular food group).

© Jonathan Wade 2014