What is the Low FODMAP Diet? — Chromatography Explores

Mar 12 2018 Read 377 Times

Diets for medical conditions include being aware of allergy triggers — peanuts, some types fish, or having to avoid gluten in food. For some people dairy foods can bring about uncomfortable stomach sensations and the need to visit the toilet. One such condition — that many doctors think is underreported is IBS. A team from Monash University in Australia has recently published some research on a diet that could help more IBS suffers eat foods that don’t inflame the situation — the FODMAP diet.

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the bowel resulting in abdominal pain when you go to the toilet, symptoms also include bloating of the stomach. The condition can have a significant effect on the lives of sufferers — affecting quality of life and social life, depending on the nature of the symptoms.

Approximately 10 – 20% of the UK population have the condition, but many people think the condition is more prevalent as many sufferers do not seek medical attention. It is more prevalent in women than men, and it is more likely to affect twentysomethings than other age ranges. Can it be controlled by diet?

FODMAPs — a diet for IBS?

FODMAP is a diet that research suggests can help sufferers of IBS by improving their symptoms. The diet comes out of research carried out at Monash University to help IBS patients manage their symptoms through diet. They investigated how the gut and food can impact intestinal health with the aim of identifying foods that help sufferers.

They discovered a group of short-chained carbohydrates that can cause irritation to the bowel and contribute to the symptoms IBS sufferers see. The carbohydrates are known as Fermentable Oligo-saccharides Di-saccharides Mono-saccharides and Polyols — FODMAPs. Foods that are high FODMAP are more likely to trigger the symptoms seen in IBS, hence the need for a low-FODMAP diet.

Vegetarian FODMAP

Knowing what foods contribute to a low FODMAP diet is difficult, particularly as it is not just a case of turning vegetarian or vegan — many meats are in fact low-FODMAP foods. The team at Monash have developed an app to help chose foods and recipes that you can eat. Before you follow any diet, you should check with your doctor it is safe to do so.

The team have recently used chromatography to check the FODMAP composition of several plant-based foods with the aim of helping vegetarians and vegans follow the diet. Chromatography is routinely used in food applications as discussed in the article, LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS Multi Residue Pesticide Analysis in Fruit and Vegetable Extracts on a Single Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer.

They were able to classify many plant-based foods as low-FODMAP foods as well as assessing the affects of food preparation on the food. They found that food processing lowered the FODMAP content of some foods, increasing the range of foods that vegetarian FODMAP followers can eat.

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