Supplementing Dietary Fibers With a Low FODMAP Diet in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Sep;20(9):2112-2120.e7.doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2021.12.016. Epub 2021 Dec 18.


Daniel So 1Chu K Yao 2Zaid S Ardalan 2Phoebe A Thwaites 2Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh 3Peter R Gibson 2Jane G Muir 2


Author information

1Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School, Monash University and Alfred Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address: daniel.so@monash.edu.

2Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School, Monash University and Alfred Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

3Chemical Engineering (Food Science and Technology), University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Background & aims: Institution of a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may lead to inadequate fiber intake. This trial aimed to investigate the effects of supplementing specific fibers concomitantly with a low FODMAP diet on relevant clinical and physiological indices in symptomatic patients with IBS.

Methods: A double-blind crossover trial was conducted in which 26 patients with IBS were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 low FODMAP diets differing only in total fiber content: control, 23 g/d; sugarcane bagasse, 33 g/d; or fiber combination (sugarcane bagasse with resistant starch), 45 g/d. Each diet lasted 14 days with most food provided and ≥21 days' washout between. Endpoints were assessed during baseline and dietary interventions.

Results: From a median IBS Severity Scoring System total score at baseline of 305, all diets reduced median scores by >50 with no differences in rates of symptom response between the diets: control (57%), sugarcane bagasse (67%), fiber combination (48%) (P = .459). Stool output was ∼50% higher during the fiber-supplemented vs control diets (P < .001 for both). While there were no overall differences overall in stool characteristics, descriptors, and water content, or in gastrointestinal transit times, supplementation with sugarcane bagasse normalized both low stool water content and slow colonic transit from during the control diet.

Conclusions: Concomitant supplementation of fibers during initiation of a low FODMAP diet did not alter symptomatic response in patients with IBS but augmented stool bulk and normalized low stool water content and slow transit. Resistant starch did not exert additional symptomatic benefits over sugarcane bagasse alone. (Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry; Number, ACTRN12619000691145).



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