Diarrhea Predominant-Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-D): Effects of Different Nutritional Patterns on Intestinal Dysbiosis and Symptoms

Nutrients. 2021 Apr 29;13(5):1506. doi: 10.3390/nu13051506.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain associated with defecation or a change in bowel habits. Gut microbiota, which acts as a real organ with well-defined functions, is in a mutualistic relationship with the host, harvesting additional energy and nutrients from the diet and protecting the host from pathogens; specific alterations in its composition seem to play a crucial role in IBS pathophysiology. It is well known that diet can significantly modulate the intestinal microbiota profile but it is less known how different nutritional approach effective in IBS patients, such as the low-FODMAP diet, could be responsible of intestinal microbiota changes, thus influencing the presence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. The aim of this review was to explore the effects of different nutritional protocols (e.g., traditional nutritional advice, low-FODMAP diet, gluten-free diet, etc.) on IBS-D symptoms and on intestinal microbiota variations in both IBS-D patients and healthy subjects. To date, an ideal nutritional protocol does not exist for IBS-D patients but it seems crucial to consider the effect of the different nutritional approaches on the intestinal microbiota composition to better define an efficient strategy to manage this functional disorder.

Keywords: IBS; IBS-D; Irritable Bowel Syndrome; diarrhea predominant IBS; diet and IBS; gluten—free diet and IBS; gluten—free diet and microbiota; low—FODMAP and IBS; low—FODMAP and microbiota; microbiota and IBS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diarrhea / diet therapy*
  • Diarrhea / etiology*
  • Diet
  • Dysbiosis / diet therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / classification*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / pathology