Gastrointestinal Symptoms and FODMAP Intake of Aged-Care Residents from Christchurch, New Zealand

Nutrients. 2017 Sep 29;9(10):1083. doi: 10.3390/nu9101083.


Studies on fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides as well as polyols (FODMAPs) intake in older adults are lacking. This study investigated the relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and FODMAPs in aged care residents. The Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Score questionnaire modified for patients with IBS (GSRS-IBS) was used to identify participants with IBS-like symptoms. Dietary intake was assessed for a subgroup of participants with highest total GSRS-IBS score (symptomatic cases) and age, sex, and level of care matched participants with low total GSRS-IBS score (asymptomatic controls). Seventy-four participants with a mean (SD) age of 86 (6.6) years completed the GSRS-IBS questionnaire and dietary data were collected using food diaries from a subsample of 27 symptomatic and 27 asymptomatic participants. The study found many older adults with functional gut symptoms. There were no differences between the groups for FODMAP intake and no significant relationship was found between FODMAP intake and total GSRS-IBS score. Lactose from milk and milk-based desserts was the biggest FODMAP contributor (16 g/day) and a significant relationship between total FODMAP intake and diarrhoea was found. A larger study sample in future studies is required to better capture symptomatic cases and manipulation of dietary FODMAPs may assist with the management of IBS in the elderly.

Keywords: FODMAPs; gastrointestinal symptom; irritable bowel syndrome; older people.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dairy Products / adverse effects
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control
  • Diet Records
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Elder Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Food Services
  • Gastroenteritis / diet therapy*
  • Gastroenteritis / etiology
  • Gastroenteritis / physiopathology
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Housing for the Elderly
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Lactose Intolerance / diet therapy
  • Lactose Intolerance / etiology
  • Lactose Intolerance / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Milk / adverse effects
  • New Zealand
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Severity of Illness Index