Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in Western countries. Despite the high prevalence of this disorders, the therapeutic management of these patients is often unsatisfactory. A number of factors have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of IBS, including impaired motility and sensitivity, increased permeability, changes in the gut microbiome and alterations in the brain-gut axis. Also food seems to play a critical role: the most of IBS patients report the onset or the exacerbation of their symptoms after the meals. Recently, an increasing attention has been paid to the role of food in IBS. In this review we summarize the most recent evidences about the role of diet on IBS symptoms. A diet restricted in fermentable, poorly absorbed carbohydrates and sugar alcohols has beneficial effects on IBS symptoms. More studies are needed to improve our knowledge about the relationship between food and IBS. However, in the foreseeable future, dietary strategies will represent one of the key tools in the therapeutic management of patients with IBS.
Keywords: Fermentable, poorly absorbed carbohydrates and sugar alcohols; Food intolerance; Gluten; Gut microbiota; Irritable bowel syndrome.