Long-term personalized low FODMAP diet improves symptoms and maintains luminal Bifidobacteria abundance in irritable bowel syndrome

Heidi M Staudacher, Megan Rossi, Thomas Kaminski, Eirini Dimidi, Frances SE Ralph, Bridgette Wilson, Martin Dallimer, Bridgette Wilson, Lee D Martin, Petra Louis, Miranda C Lomer, Peter M Irving, Kevin Whelan* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
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Short-term trials demonstrate the low FODMAP diet improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but impacts nutrient intake and the gastrointestinal microbiota. The aim of thisstudy was to investigate clinical symptoms, nutrient intake and microbiota of patients with IBS 12 months after starting a low FODMAP diet. 
Participants enrolled in a previous short-term clinical trial and who had been through structured FODMAP restriction, reintroduction and personalisation were invited to participate in a follow-up study at one time point at 12 months. Gastrointestinal symptoms, stool output, dietary intake and quality of life were recorded. Stool samples were collected and analysed for microbiota (qPCR) and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Data were compared with baseline (prior to any intervention in the original clinical trial) using non-parametric statistics.
Key results: 
Eighteen participants were included in the study. Adequate relief of symptoms occurred in 5/18 (28%) at baseline and increased to 12/18 (67%) following long-term personalised low FODMAP diet (p=0.039). There was a reduction in IBS-SSS total score between baseline (median 227, IQR 99)and long term (154, 89; p<0.001). Bifidobacteria abundance was not different between baseline (median 9.29, IQR 1.45) and long term (9.20, 1.41; p=0.766, q=0.906), however there were lower concentrations of total SCFA, acetate, propionate and butyrate.
In this long-term analysis, two thirds of patients reported adequate relief of symptoms after 12 months of personalised low FODMAP diet, that did not result in differences from baseline inBifidobacteria. FODMAP reintroduction and personalisation may normalise some of the effects of short-term FODMAP restriction.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14241
Number of pages11
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
Early online date24 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the patients who agreed to participate in this long-term follow up study. We are grateful to Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, for access to their FODMAP food composition database for analysis of FODMAP intake. The initial study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the long term follow-up was funded by King’s College London, neither of whom played a role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation or writing of the manuscript.


  • diet
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • fructans
  • bifidobacteria
  • microbiome


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