Background: Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often relate their symptoms to the intake of food and modify their diet. IgE-mediated food allergy is uncommon in IBS, but the role of IgG-mediated food hypersensitivity remains inconclusive. The primary aim of this study was to compare food- and yeast-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies in subjects with and without IBS.
Methods: This was a case control study in the general population for which subjects completed questionnaires about abdominal complaints and their intake of common food items. Blood samples were collected, and food- and yeast-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies were measured. Antibodies were measured in mg/L.
Results: We included 269 subjects with IBS and 277 control subjects. After correction for subject characteristics and diet, there were no significant differences with regard to food- and yeast-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies between subjects with IBS and controls. Lower values of IgG antibodies against egg (OR 0.99 (0.98 to 1.00), p = 0.002) and beef (OR 0.75 (0.60 to 0.94), p = 0.012) and higher values of IgG antibodies against chicken (OR 1.14 (1.03 to 1.27), p = 0.009) were associated with more severe symptoms.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that IgG-and IgG4-mediated food and yeast hypersensitivity in IBS is unlikely. IgG antibodies against food and yeast may reflect the diet.