Food intolerance: a major factor in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome

Lancet. 1982 Nov 20;2(8308):1115-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(82)92782-9.


Specific foods were found to provoke symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in 14 of 21 patients. In 6 patients who were challenged double blind the food intolerance was confirmed. No difference was detected in changes in plasma glucose, histamine, immune complexes, haematocrit, eosinophil count, or breath hydrogen excretion produced after challenge or control foods. Rectal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), however, increased significantly, and in a further 5 patients rectal PGE2 correlated with wet faecal weight. Food intolerance associated with prostaglandin production is an important factor in the pathogenesis of IBS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Citrus / adverse effects
  • Coffee / adverse effects
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / etiology*
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / metabolism
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / psychology
  • Dinoprostone
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Food / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lactose Intolerance / complications
  • Prostaglandins E / biosynthesis*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rectum / metabolism
  • Triticum / adverse effects
  • Zea mays / adverse effects


  • Coffee
  • Prostaglandins E
  • Dinoprostone