The role of FODMAPs in irritable bowel syndrome

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Nov;17(6):605-9. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000116.


Purpose of review: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition affecting approximately 10-15% of Western populations. The Rome III criteria are applied to many studies to validate the diagnosis of IBS. The low fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyol (FODMAP) diet has been the subject of many robust clinical trials and is now used as the primary dietary therapy internationally. This review examines the current evidence for the role of the low FODMAP diet in IBS.

Recent findings: Detailed commentary on original research involving FODMAPs and IBS symptoms from 2013 to 2014 is provided.

Summary: The low FODMAP diet has been shown to be an efficacious therapy for reduction of functional gastrointestinal symptoms seen in IBS. Recent publications provide randomized controlled trial and prospective observational evidence in support of the diet for symptom management. The low FODMAP diet appears to be superior to a gluten-free diet in people with self-reported nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Although the low FODMAP diet has not been shown to reduce the prebiotic effect in the colon, total colonic bacterial load was reduced. Further research investigating the potential health implications of both this and the nutritional adequacy of the liberalized low FODMAP diet is required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Disaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Fermentation*
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Monosaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Oligosaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Polymers / administration & dosage
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Polymers
  • polyol