Other Efficacy and findings of a blinded randomized reintroduction phase for the low FODMAP diet in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Feb 2024, n=117) Symptom recurrence was triggered in 85% of the FODMAP powders

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023


Background and aims

The efficacy of a low fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) diet in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is well established. After the elimination period, a reintroduction phase aims to identify triggers. We studied the impact of a blinded reintroduction using FODMAP-powders to objectively identify triggers and evaluated the effect on symptoms, quality of life (QoL), and psychosocial co-morbidities.


Responders to a 6-week low-FODMAP diet, defined by a drop in IBS-symptom severity score (IBS-SSS) compared to baseline, entered a 9-week blinded randomized reintroduction phase with 6 FODMAP powders (fructans, fructose, galacto-oligosaccharides, lactose, mannitol, sorbitol) or control (glucose). A rise in IBS-SSS (≥50 points) defined a FODMAP-trigger. Patients completed daily symptom diaries and questionnaires for QoL and psychosocial co-morbidities.


In 117 recruited IBS patients, IBS-SSS improved significantly after the elimination period compared to baseline (150±116 vs 301±97, P < .0001, 80% responders). Symptom recurrence was triggered in 85% of the FODMAP powders, by an average of 2.5±2 FODMAPs/patient. The most prevalent triggers were fructans (56%) and mannitol (54%), followed by galacto-oligosaccharides, lactose, fructose, sorbitol, and glucose (respectively 35%, 28%, 27%, 23%, and 26%) with a significant increase in abdominal pain at day 1 for sorbitol/mannitol, day 2 for fructans/galacto-oligosaccharides and day 3 for lactose.


We confirmed the significant benefit of the low-FODMAP diet in tertiary care IBS. A blinded reintroduction revealed a personalized pattern of symptom recurrence, with fructans and mannitol as the most prevalent, and allows the most objective identification of individual FODMAP-triggers; Clinicaltrial.gov number: NCT04373304.

I see lots of suggestions that you can simply stop for a bit and then reintroduce the problem foods. That doesn't make sense to me and it's nice to have some data showing that to be erroneous. FODMAP sensitivity is likely due to missing microbes, so it's not going to be solved on its own without adding microbes.
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