Dietary fiber and other alternative therapies and irritable bowel syndrome

Lauren Williams, Joanne L Slavin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Dietary fiber has demonstrated benefits in health maintenance, disease prevention, and in medical nutrition therapy. Dietary fiber is consumed in foods, dietary supplements, and in over-the-counter drugs as an aid to laxation. In developed countries, usual intake of dietary fiber is only about half of recommended levels. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the world's most common gastrointestinal functional disorder and greatly limits patients' quality of life. The pathological mechanisms of IBS are unknown, but consumption of dietary fiber may have therapeutic benefits for patients with the syndrome. Some studies find that soluble fibers are more successful than insoluble fibers in the management of IBS. Other fibers shown to have a positive effect on irritable bowel symptoms include wheat dextrin, partially hydrolyzed guar gum, and psyllium. Little data are available on probiotics and prebiotics and IBS. Other alternative therapies including peppermint oil, zinc, arginine, and restricted fructose intakes have been promoted for IBS. Dietary management of IBS must be individualized as symptoms of IBS vary widely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-271
Number of pages10
JournalTopics in Clinical Nutrition
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

Fingerprint

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Dietary Fiber
Complementary Therapies
guar gum
Dietary Supplements
Psyllium
Nutrition Therapy
Nonprescription Drugs
Prebiotics
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Probiotics
Insurance Benefits
Fructose
Developed Countries
Triticum
Arginine
Zinc
Quality of Life

Keywords

  • Dietary fiber
  • IBS
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics

Cite this

Dietary fiber and other alternative therapies and irritable bowel syndrome. / Williams, Lauren; Slavin, Joanne L.

In: Topics in Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 3, 01.07.2009, p. 262-271.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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