Modified rye bread helps patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are often concerned that certain foods may trigger or worsen their symptoms, which can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. In a new study, patients who ate rye bread that was low in so-called "FODMAPs" (fermentable oligo- di- and mono-saccharides and polyols) experienced milder IBS symptoms than patients who ate normal rye bread.

Patients with IBS who are considering a low FODMAP diet should first discuss it with their doctor. A low FODMAP diet cuts out most fruits and grains and would not, otherwise, be recommended or considered healthy.

"Our study shows that reduction of FODMAP content of a major food staple, such as rye bread, may reduce some symptoms of IBS but is not enough per se to reach adequate overall symptom control in IBS. It's likely that a holistic low-FODMAP diet is needed in most cases in order to reach adequate control of overall symptoms," said Dr. Reijo Laatikainen, lead author of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics study. "Low-FODMAP rye bread seems to be one way to increase fiber intake of patients with IBS. Just like the rest of the population, IBS patients tend to have a lower than recommended intake of fiber," he added.

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