Food components and irritable bowel syndrome

Gastroenterology. 2015 May;148(6):1158-74.e4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.02.005. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Ingestion of food has long been linked with gut symptoms, and there is increasing interest in using diet in the management of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The West has developed an intense interest in specialized, restrictive diets, such as those that target multiple food groups, avoid gluten, or reduce fermentable oligo-, di-, and mono-saccharides and polyols. However, most gastroenterologists are not well educated about diets or their effects on the gut. It is important to understand the various dietary approaches, their putative mechanisms, the evidence that supports their use, and the benefits or harm they might produce. The concepts behind, and delivery of, specialized diets differ from those of pharmacologic agents. High-quality research is needed to determine the efficacy of different dietary approaches and the place of specific strategies.

Keywords: Bioactive Food Chemicals; Carbohydrates; Dietary Therapy; Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; Gluten; Low FODMAP Diet; Proteins; Wheat Sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Fermentation
  • Gastrointestinal Tract* / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract* / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / etiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / metabolism
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / microbiology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins