New Evidence in Favour of a Low-FODMAP Diet
New scientific evidence has been recently published (May 24th, 2016) concerning the Low-FODMAP* Diet effectiveness for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
This study was presented during DDW2016 (Digestive Disease Week) in San Diego California. The abstract was recognized as a «Noteworthy AGA (American Gastroenterologist Association) Clinical Abstract» – In a nutshell, FODMAP is newsworthy and the medical community was waiting for those results.
Here are the key findings presented in the abstract:
- This is the first study of its kind (randomized controlled trial) that followed that many patients (83 people completed the whole study).
- After 4 weeks, more than 60% of patients who were in the Low-FODMAP Diet group saw their quality of life and quality of sleep increased, as well as a decrease in their symptoms, compared to baseline. For patients in the control group (patients who didn’t follow the Low-FODMAP Diet), only 27% saw improvements.
- It is one of the first studies conducted in the United States. This leads one to think that both the Low-FODMAP and the control diet are more similar to a typical Canadian diet than a typical Australian diet, where most FODMAP-related studies were conducted until now.
As with most studies, certain caveats have to be mentioned. In this particular case, the study was conducted over a 4 week period only, hence, it is therefore not possible to conclude about the long-term effects of the Low-FODMAP Diet. Indeed, understanding the long-term effect on both the management of symptoms and microbiota (intestinal flora) is as important as managing symptoms and short-term quality of life.
Also, the majority of studies so far have proven the effectiveness of the Low-FODMAP Diet to reduce symptoms for people who suffer from IBS with a predominance of diarrhea (IBS-D). More studies are needed to find out if a Low-FODMAP Diet would be just as beneficial for people with IBS-C (IBS with a predominance of constipation) or even people with a mix of both diarrhea and constipation (IBS-M).
In an interview, the principal researcher, Shanti Eswaran, said that “Low-FODMAP is not a new treatment, but we are now convinced that it really works.”1
The recommendations are to follow a Low-FODMAP Diet for the necessary period only (elimination and food-challenge phases). Tolerated FODMAPs must be reintroduced as soon as possible, with the help of a registered dietitian.
*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.
- Shantell M. Kirkendoll pour University of Michigan Health Lab’s Lab Blog. (may 24th, 2016). Clinical Trial Demonstrates Success of Low FODMAP Diet. Retrieved from http://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/clinical-trial-demonstrates-success-of-low-fodmap-diet
- Shanti L. Eswaran, et al. 821 A Low FODMAP Diet Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Activity Impairment, and Improves Sleep Quality in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diarrhea: Results From a U.S. Randomized, Controlled Trial. Gastroenterology, 2016; 150 (4): S172 DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(16)30665-5