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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Effects of FODMAPs and Gluten on Gut Microbiota and Their Association with the Metabolome in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Cross-Over Intervention Study

Nordin, Elise; Hellstrom, Per M.; Dicksved, Johan; Pelve, Erik; Landberg, Rikard; Brunius, Carl


Background: A mechanistic understanding of the effects of dietary treatment in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is lacking. Our aim was therefore to investigate how fermentable oligo- di-, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) and gluten affected gut microbiota and circulating metabolite profiles, as well as to investigate potential links between gut microbiota, metabolites, and IBS symptoms. Methods: We used data from a double-blind, randomized, crossover study with week-long provocations of FODMAPs, gluten, and placebo in participants with IBS. To study the effects of the provocations on fecal microbiota, fecal and plasma short-chain fatty acids, the untargeted plasma metabolome, and IBS symptoms, we used Random Forest, linear mixed model and Spearman correlation analysis. Results: FODMAPs increased fecal saccharolytic bacteria, plasma phenolic-derived metabolites, 3-indolepropionate, and decreased isobutyrate and bile acids. Gluten decreased fecal isovalerate and altered carnitine derivatives, CoA, and fatty acids in plasma. For FODMAPs, modest correlations were observed between microbiota and phenolic-derived metabolites and 3-indolepropionate, previously associated with improved metabolic health, and reduced inflammation. Correlations between molecular data and IBS symptoms were weak. Conclusions: FODMAPs, but not gluten, altered microbiota composition and correlated with phenolic-derived metabolites and 3-indolepropionate, with only weak associations with IBS symptoms. Thus, the minor effect of FODMAPs on IBS symptoms must be weighed against the effect on microbiota and metabolites related to positive health factors.


irritable bowel syndrome; FODMAPs; gluten; gut microbiota; SCFAs; metabolome; multiomics

Published in

2023, Volume: 15, number: 13, article number: 3045
Publisher: MDPI