Study: Diet Useful, Safe for Children with GI Problems

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Otago, New Zealand—The low-FODMAP diet is a useful treatment in children with gastrointestinal problems, according to new research from the University of Otago.

The researchers performed a clinical review of 29 children from Christchurch Public Hospital between the ages of 4 and 17 who were following the low-FODMAP diet. 92% of children saw complete resolution of bloating, 87% saw complete resolution with diarrhea, and 77% saw complete resolution of abdominal pain.

The most common intolerance was fructans (67%), followed by lactose (56%), polyols (7%), and galacto-oligosaccharides (7%). Six children specifically identified apples—fructose and sorbitol—as a trigger of symptoms.

Related: Understanding FODMAP
The Low FODMAP Diet and IBS
Feed Your Happiness: What Your Microbiome Wants

Andrew Day, lead author of the review and a pediatric gastroenterologist from University of Otago, said in a press release: “To our knowledge the present study is the only one to report efficacy and safety data for the low-FODMAP diet in children with functional bowel disorders in a real-world setting. The study showed that more than 50% of children with a bowel disorder who complete the FODMAP restriction and reintroduction process will have complete resolution of symptoms, particularly those with lower GI symptoms.” However, he added, further studies will be necessary to determine the impact of the diet on growth and the gut microbiome, and the consequences of long-term dietary restriction.

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