DDW 2008 News—Is Dietary Counseling for IBS Effective?
Researchers recruited 54 patients with constipation-predominant IBS to record complete food diaries before and three months after consultation with a dietitian. The average amount of fiber intake at baseline was 15 g, and this number remained basically unchanged after the three-month follow-up, despite advice to increase the amount of dietary fiber. However, subjects with very low fiber consumption (less than 10 g per day) did improve their fiber intake significantly, reaching the level of average subjects three months after dietary consultation. The researchers concluded that most subjects, despite dietary instruction, show little increase in their overall fiber or nutrient intake. Thus, advice alone as a means of increasing dietary fiber supplementation is unlikely to result in a significant increase in fiber intake in subjects with IBS and chronic constipation. However, dietary counseling was beneficial in a selected few with inadequate fiber intake. This study may show why most patients with chronic constipation do not benefit from general dietary advice and prescribed fiber supplements. (DDW Abstract T1033, May 19, 2008, J. Phyllis, et al.)