You are right about there being so much to try. The reason is that UC is a very personalized disease, unlike diabetes where you get diagnosed, and the doctor immediately has something to help you get things under control, with UC it is purely trial and error. Everybody reacts differently, and so there is no one thing to tell EVERYONE to do or not to do. All we can talk about is what helps us personally, and to speak in broad generalities about what does and doesn't work.
There are only two universal suggestions I can make. One is to find a probiotic that works for you, and the other is to keep a food/med journal. This will help you to narrow down what you tolerate, what meds/supplements help, and what lessens symptoms for you.
As for research, there is almost always something being looked at by the medical community. I live in the Denver area, and my doctor were talking about local studies being done, and he provided me a list of 8 trials going on in the area right now. If you are interested in doing a medical trial, contact your GI and ask him. You can also go to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation website and click on research. Another place I've seen studies listed is on Craig's List in the community section under groups or general. Here is a link to the Crohn's Colitis Foundation research site:
Good luck in finding relief. The good thing is that you can try things and if they don't help, try something else. You have nothing to lose by trying out diets, supplements, etc, but you have everything to gain.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06, had symptoms since '99
Meds & supplements: VSL#3, Lialda, Allegra, multi-vitamin, Wellbutrin XL, fluoxetine, and vit B-12.