Effectiveness of Two Dietary Approaches on the Quality of Life and Gastrointestinal Symptoms of Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

J Clin Med. 2020 Jan 2;9(1):125. doi: 10.3390/jcm9010125.


To evaluate the effectiveness of a low FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, monosaccharaides, disaccharides and polyols) diet in the relief of symptoms and an improvement of the quality of life in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome in comparison to a standard diet according to the British Dietetic Association's guidelines. A non-randomized clinical trial of adult patients with IBS was compared two diet interventions. An assessment of symptoms, quality of life, and nutritional status was performed before and after the four-week mark of intervention. Individuals from the Low FODMAP Diet (LFD) group were evaluated on a third moment, after the controlled reintroduction of FODMAPs. A total of 70 individuals were divided in two groups: Low FODMAP Diet (LFD; n = 47) and Standard Diet (SD; n = 23). 57 individuals completed the four-week intervention (LFD; n = 39; SD; n = 18). At the completion of four weeks, the symptoms improved in both groups (LFD: p < 0.01; DC: p < 0.05) but LFD led to a higher relief (p < 0.05), primarily with respect to abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Quality of life improved significantly in both groups, with no significant differences between SD vs LFD (p > 0.05). In the LFD group, the relief of symptoms observed at the four-week mark remained constant after reintroduction of FODMAPs. Both interventions seem to be effective for the relief of symptoms and quality of life, however LFD had higher effectiveness in the former. The results with LFD suggest it can be a preferred approach in individuals with diarrhoeal profile.

Keywords: food; irritable bowel syndrome; low fodmap diet; quality of life; symptoms.