Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Emily Wiley

Reader 2

Findley Finseth

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© 2017 Jessica S. Gaffney


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of diseases in the gastrointestinal field that is becoming more commonly diagnosed among patients. IBD is usually characterized as a group of chronic diseases affecting the digestive tract that are caused by a multitude of factors including genetic, environmental, mucosal, and immune contributors. One of the subgroups of IBD is very early onset IBD (VEO-IBD), which is diagnosed in children under the age of 6. VEO-IBD is a rare yet unique case of IBD, which reports poor response to conventional adult-onset IBD treatments. Nutrition is an alternative treatment that can decrease inflammation and allow IBD patients to achieve remission. This proposed study explores whether formula-based diets, which have been strongly correlated with reduced IBD inflammation and symptoms, will impact VEO-IBD patients. A mouse model will be set up with one control group of healthy mice and two variable groups of VEO-IBD characteristic mice, with 60 mice in each group. The mice will be fed three formula-based dietary regiments including camel’s milk, Pediasure, and liquid vitamin D3 twice daily for 90 days. All three of these dietary treatments have been proven to decrease inflammation in adult-onset IBD patients. The inflammation and severity of symptoms will be monitored every two days through Western blotting protein levels of IL10 (a genetic marker for VEO-IBD) and physiological tests. If nutrition has a positive effect on the VEO-IBD induced mice, then a decrease in inflammation and VEO-IBD symptoms should be observed. This study is vital to future treatment plans by determining the influence of formula-based diets in alleviating symptoms of VEO-IBD patients.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.