New research suggests that gluten has no effect on symptoms experienced by patients with IBS, and FODMAPs have a modest effect

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A clinical trial investigating the effects of high intakes of fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) foods and gluten versus placebo on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) typical symptoms showed that FODMAPs had a modest effect, but gluten had no effect on symptoms experienced by patients.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, enrolled 110 participants fulfilling the IBS Rome IV criteria, with moderate to severe IBS, of whom 103 completed the trial. Throughout the study, the participants maintained a diet with minimal FODMAP content and no gluten. During the intervention, participants were randomised to 1-week interventions with FODMAPs (50 g/day), gluten (17.3 g/day), or placebo, separated by a 1-week washout.

The results show that FODMAPs caused higher IBS severity scoring system (IBS-SSS) scores than placebo or gluten. No differences were found between the placebo and gluten groups. There were large inter-individual differences in IBS-SSS scores associated with treatment.

The researchers found that the baseline IBS-SSS scores were higher than those in washout weeks, which may be explained by a drastically reduced FODMAP and gluten intake compared with participants’ habitual diets, increased participant awareness of dietary choices and more regular meal patterns, they say.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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