Gluten and FODMAPs Relationship with Mental Disorders: Systematic Review

Nutrients. 2021 May 31;13(6):1894. doi: 10.3390/nu13061894.


Nowadays, gluten and FODMAP food components (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) are increasingly studied due to their possible relation with extraintestinal-associated conditions. In recent years, gluten-free diets (GFD) and low-FODMAP diets (LFD) are becoming more popular not only in order to avoid the food components that cause intolerances or allergies in some people, but also due to the direct influence of marketing movements or diet trends on feeding habits. Likewise, neurological and psychiatric diseases are currently of increasing importance in developed countries. For this reason, a bibliographic systematic review has been carried out to analyse whether there is a pathophysiological relationship between the dietary intake of gluten or FODMAPs with mental disorders. This review collects 13 clinical and randomized controlled trials, based on the PRISMA statement, which have been published in the last ten years. Based on these results, limiting or ruling out gluten or FODMAPs in the diet might be beneficial for symptoms such as depression, anxiety (7 out of 7 articles found any positive effect), or cognition deficiency (improvements in several cognition test measurements in one trial), and to a lesser extent for schizophrenia and the autism spectrum. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to obtain completely reliable conclusions.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; anxiety; autism spectrum; clinical trial; cognition; depression; gluten-free diet; low FODMAP diet; randomized controlled trial; schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet / methods*
  • Disaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Glutens
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Monosaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Oligosaccharides / administration & dosage*


  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Glutens