Low-FODMAP diet

The low FODMAP diet is now recognized as first-line therapy for IBS treatment. The dietetic abbreviation FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. FODMAPs include diverse s that have different biological functions and exert different effects gastrointestinal tract. FODMAP sugars are poorly digested and absorbed by intestines but well consumed the colon microorganisms producing gases (Shepherd et al. 2013).

Sugar type nameCompound namesContaining foods
OligosaccharidesFructans, galacto-oligosaccharidesWheat, barley, rye, onion, leek, white part of spring onion, garlic, shallots, artichokes, beetroot, fennel, peas, chicory, pistachio, cashews, legumes, lentils, and chickpeas
DisaccharidesLactoseMilk, custard, ice cream, and yoghurt
MonosaccharidesFructoseApples, pears, mangoes, cherries, watermelon, asparagus, sugar snap peas, honey, high-fructose corn syrup
PolyolsSorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, and xylitolApples, pears, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, watermelon, mushrooms, cauliflower, artificially sweetened chewing gum and confectionery

The low-FODMAP diet is an elimination diet involves the elimination of foods containing FODMAPs. It is very restrictive diet - the followers avoid foods such as bread, milk and fruits. Instead, meat, fish, eggs, cheese and little amounts of vegetables can be consumed.

A number of studies have shown the positive effect of the low-FODMAP diet on IBS in up to two-thirds of people. A study found that a low-FODMAP diet improved symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea (de Roest et al. 2013). In a clinical trial, a diet low in FODMAPs reduced gastrointestinal symptoms in people with IBS (Halmos et al. 2014). The effectiveness of the low-FODMAP diet was confirmed in another trial (Bohn et al. 2015). Yet in another recent trial adequate symptom relief was observed (Staudacher et al. 2017). A diet low in FODMAPs improved health-related quality of life and reduced anxiety and activity impairment in patients with diarrhea (Eswaran et al. 2017).