2 research studies into Diet and IBS (follow the links for full papers):

1. Review Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in Western countries. Despite the high prevalence of this disorders, the therapeutic management of these patients is often unsatisfactory.

A number of factors have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of IBS, including impaired motility and sensitivity, increased permeability, changes in the gut microbiome and alterations in the brain-gut axis.

Also food seems to play a critical role: the most of IBS patients report the onset or the exacerbation of their symptoms after the meals. Recently, an increasing attention has been paid to the role of food in IBS. In this review we summarize the most recent evidences about the role of diet on IBS symptoms.

A diet restricted in fermentable, poorly absorbed carbohydrates and sugar alcohols has beneficial effects on IBS symptoms. More studies are needed to improve our knowledge about the relationship between food and IBS. However, in the foreseeable future, dietary strategies will represent one of the key tools in the therapeutic management of patients with IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome and food interaction, by R Cuomo et al in World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 21;20(27):8837-8845

2. Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS: A diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) often is used to manage functional gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), yet there is limited evidence of its efficacy, compared with a normal Western diet. We investigated the effects of a diet low in FODMAPs compared with an Australian diet, in a randomized, controlled, single-blind, cross-over trial of patients with IBS.

METHODS: In a study of 30 patients with IBS and 8 healthy individuals (controls, matched for demographics and diet), we collected dietary data from subjects for 1 habitual week. Participants then randomly were assigned to groups that received 21 days of either a diet low in FODMAPs or a typical Australian diet, followed by a washout period of at least 21 days, before crossing over to the alternate diet. Daily symptoms were rated using a 0- to 100-mm visual analogue scale. Almost all food was provided during the interventional diet periods, with a goal of less than 0.5 g intake of FODMAPs per meal for the low-FODMAP diet. All stools were collected from days 17-21 and assessed for frequency, weight, water content, and King’s Stool Chart rating.

RESULTS: Subjects with IBS had lower overall gastrointestinal symptom scores (22.8; 95% confidence interval, 16.7-28.8 mm) while on a diet low in FODMAPs, compared with the Australian diet (44.9; 95% confidence interval, 36.6-53.1 mm; P < .001) and the subjects’ habitual diet. Bloating, pain, and passage of wind also were reduced while IBS patients were on the low-FODMAP diet. Symptoms were minimal and unaltered by either diet among controls. Patients of all IBS subtypes had greater satisfaction with stool consistency while on the low-FODMAP diet, but diarrhea-predominant IBS was the only subtype with altered fecal frequency and King’s Stool Chart scores.

CONCLUSIONS: In a controlled, cross-over study of patients with IBS, a diet low in FODMAPs effectively reduced functional gastrointestinal symptoms. This high-quality evidence supports its use as a first-line therapy.

A diet low in FODMAPs reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, by EP Halmos et al in Gastroenterology. 2014 Jan;146(1):67-75.e5

More about a FODMAP diet

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