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Digestion. 2016;94(1):50-6. doi: 10.1159/000448280. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

Fecal Fermentation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Influence of Dietary Restriction of Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.

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Unger-Vetlesen Institute, Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



Dietary restriction of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) may relieve symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We investigated whether this diet alters microbial fermentation, a process that may be involved in IBS symptom generation.


Patients with IBS were included consecutively to participate in a 4-week FODMAP restricted diet. IBS symptoms were evaluated by using the IBS severity scoring system (IBS-SSS). Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were analyzed in fecal samples before and after the dietary intervention, both at baseline and after in vitro fermentation for 24 h.


Sixty-three patients completed the study. Following the dietary intervention, IBS-SSS scores improved significantly (p < 0.0001). Total SCFA levels were reduced in fecal samples analyzed both at baseline (p = 0.005) and after in vitro fermentation for 24 h (p = 0.013). Following diet, baseline levels of acetic (p = 0.003) and n-butyric acids (p = 0.009) decreased, whereas 24 h levels of i-butyric (p = 0.003) and i-valeric acids (p = 0.003) increased. Fecal SCFA levels and IBS symptom scores were not correlated.


Dietary FODMAP restriction markedly modulated fecal fermentation in patients with IBS. Saccharolytic fermentation decreased, while proteolytic fermentation increased, apparently independent of symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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