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The role of FODMAPs in irritable bowel syndrome

Shepherd, Susan J.a,b; Halmos, Emmab; Glance, Simonc

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November 2014 - Volume 17 - Issue 6 - p 605–609
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000116
FUNCTIONAL FOODS AND DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: Edited by Nathalie M. Delzenne and Gerard E. Mullin

Purpose of review Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition affecting approximately 10–15% of Western populations. The Rome III criteria are applied to many studies to validate the diagnosis of IBS. The low fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyol (FODMAP) diet has been the subject of many robust clinical trials and is now used as the primary dietary therapy internationally. This review examines the current evidence for the role of the low FODMAP diet in IBS.

Recent findings Detailed commentary on original research involving FODMAPs and IBS symptoms from 2013 to 2014 is provided.

Summary The low FODMAP diet has been shown to be an efficacious therapy for reduction of functional gastrointestinal symptoms seen in IBS. Recent publications provide randomized controlled trial and prospective observational evidence in support of the diet for symptom management. The low FODMAP diet appears to be superior to a gluten-free diet in people with self-reported nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Although the low FODMAP diet has not been shown to reduce the prebiotic effect in the colon, total colonic bacterial load was reduced. Further research investigating the potential health implications of both this and the nutritional adequacy of the liberalized low FODMAP diet is required.

aDepartment of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, La Trobe University, Bundoora

bShepherd Works P/L, Box Hill North

cDepartment of Gastroenterology, Northern Hospital, Epping, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence to Susan J. Shepherd, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, La Trobe University, cnr Plenty Road and Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora, VIC 3083,. Australia. Tel: +61 3 9479 1875; fax: +61 3 9890 4944; e-mail:,

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins