As noted in this blog previously, there has been increasing evidence that a low FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols) diet is an effective option for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults and children. Now, a study (L Bohn et al. Gastroenterol 2015; 149: 1399-1407) directly compares a low FODMAPs diet with an IBS diet in a multicenter, parallel, single-blind study of 75 patients (adults) with Rome III criteria for IBS.
The comparison IBS diet recommended regular meal patterns, avoidance of large meals, reduced intake of fat and reduced insoluble fibers, caffeine, and gas-producing foods, such as beans, cabbage and onions. In addition, this diet recommended avoidance of spicy foods, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, and sweeteners that end with “-ol.” This diet has been recommended by the British Dietetic Association and by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). NICE Guidelines for IBS
- 67 patients completed the study. The severity of IBS symptoms improved in both groups (P<.0001) without a difference between the two groups
- 19 (50%) of low FODMAPs had reductions in IBS severity scores of >50 compared with baseline and 17 patients (46%) in the ‘traditional’ IBS diet group had this degree of improvement.
My take: Diet changes often result in symptom improvement in IBS. Both of these diets can be recommended in patients with IBS.