The Role of Diet in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2018 Mar;47(1):107-137. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2017.10.003.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a multifaceted illness involving maladaptive shifts in the gut microbiota that affect the enteric nervous and immune systems, mucosal barrier function, the balance of neurotransmitters and hormones, and emotional well-being. There is abundant evidence indicating that certain foods elicit symptoms in IBS. Numerous elimination-type diets have been shown to alleviate symptoms. However, among these, the most controversial is a group of foods called fructo, oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). This paper reviews the role of diet and systematically analyze the literature for the role of FODMAPs in IBS.

Keywords: Diet; Elimination diets; FODMAPs; Fiber; Food sensitivities; Gluten; Irritable bowel syndrome; Nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / adverse effects
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Capsaicin / adverse effects
  • Dairy Products / adverse effects
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Sugars / administration & dosage*
  • Food / adverse effects*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / etiology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Capsaicin