Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Internal Medicine World Report, November 2014,

Modifying diet is one way to try to help patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In a study reported in Gastroenterology, an Australian research team looked at the effects of lowering fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP) vs. consuming a typical Australian diet.

Modifying diet is one way to try to help patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In a study reported in Gastroenterology, an Australian research team looked at the effects of lowering fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP) vs. consuming a typical Australian diet.

The team found that the patients eating a low FODMAP diet experienced fewer IBS symptoms.

There were 30 IBS patients and 8 healthy individuals in the study group, randomly assigned to consume either a low FODMAP or typical Australian diet for 21 days. The meals were prepared by the team, frozen, prepackaged, and not labeled as to whether they were low-FODMAP. Each group that completed the 21-day diet then went through a 21-day washout period, then crossed over to the other diet.

Their symptoms were assessed both through stool analysis and breath samples — as well as interviews with the investigators.

The diet consisted of 3 main meals and 3 snacks daily. Participants were not calorie-restricted, but were allowed to eat according to their appetites.

“The results of this study provide high-quality evidence that the low FODMAP diet is efficacious for treatment of functional gastrointestinal symptoms in unselected IBS with symptoms being halved compared with a typical Australian diet,” Emma Halmos of Monash University and colleagues wrote in the article.