[Is the diet low in FODMAP really effective and safe for irritable bowel syndrome?: A scoping review]

Semergen. Nov-Dec 2020;46(8):566-576. doi: 10.1016/j.semerg.2020.07.010. Epub 2020 Nov 3.
[Article in Spanish]


At present, there is no aetiological treatment available for irritable bowel syndrome, and dietary modifications, particularly the low-FODMAP (monosaccharide, disaccharide, oligosaccharides and fermentable polyols) diet is increasingly used to control the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, although its actual efficacy and safety are unknown. The objective of this overview is to determine whether the low FODMAP diet is really effective and safe in the long term in the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome. The review, following an appropriate methodology, was carried out with 25 studies, which were retrieved full text. Of these, 3 were meta-analyses, 2 were systematic reviews, and 3 were both types of studies. The rest of the studies were, in general, of low methodological quality and very heterogeneous, with a low level of evidence and low degree of recommendation. It can be concluded that, in the short term, the low-FODMAP diet is effective in most patients with irritable bowel syndrome, so its use as first-line therapy could be supported. However, of all the studies, only one was prospective for long-term follow-up, between 6 and 18 months, with good results. More follow-up studies, designed for this purpose, are needed to investigate long-term effects. Furthermore, if this type of diet is advised, it should be led by specialised dietitians.

Keywords: Dieta FODMAP; Dietista; Efficacy; Eficacia; Irritable bowel syndrome; Low-FODMAP diet; Microbiota; Nutritionists; Safety; Seguridad; Síndrome del intestino irritable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted
  • Disaccharides
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome*
  • Monosaccharides
  • Prospective Studies


  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides