Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional bowel disorder affecting 5.7% of the general population. Most patients relate their symptoms of IBS to foods they consume with diet being the most frequently reported factor impacting their life. However, although some foods may trigger symptoms, others may provide symptom relief. Indeed, several foods and diets have been investigated for their effectiveness in relieving IBS symptoms. In this issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 160 patients with IBS demonstrated Aloe vera not to be effective in improving IBS symptoms. The aim of this review is to discuss the evidence on the effect of food supplements and diets in the management of IBS. Specifically, this review examines the evidence for aloe vera, peppermint oil, probiotics, fiber and prebiotics, healthy eating, the low FODMAP diet, and the gluten-free diet.
Keywords: aloe; diet; dietary fiber; fodmap; food supplements; gluten; irritable bowel syndrome; peppermint oil; prebiotics; probiotics.
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