What are FODMAPs?

The word FODMAP comes from the first letters of the following words: Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.

These are fermentable by intestinal bacteria

  • certain multiple sugars, especially those found in pulses and legumes,
  • certain double sugars, such as the milk sugar lactose or the table sugar sucrose,
  • certain simple sugars such as the fructose and
  • all sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, maltitol and others.

A FODMAP-free diet is nearly impossible

A low-FODMAP diet is similar to a diet in which the patient dispenses simultaneously with lactose, fructose, sugar substitutes and certain multiple sugars (= certain oligosaccharides).

The FODMAP concept is based on experiences of patients with Lactose Intolerance and Fructose Malabsorption and those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. At the moment, there is a lack of reliable data.

Proponents of this concept argue, that the small intestine is often unable to absorb all carbohydrates and make them available to the body as nutrients. The reasons for this vary. Some people lack transport molecules (as in the case of Fructose Malabsorption), others lack enzymes (as in the case of Lactose Intolerance). The mechanism is the same: instead of being digested in the small intestine, the carbohydrates enter the large intestine. There they are broken down by intestinal bacteria, which explains the symptoms

Symptoms:

  • Gases are produced when intestinal bacteria ferment carbohydrates. This causes flatulence and abdominal cramps, as well as discomfort and nausea.
  • Fructose and some of the other carbohydrates have an osmotic effect. They draw water into the intestine. This leads to diarrhea or watery stool.

FODMAP-rich foods include:

  • Broccoli, cabbage, fennel, onion, garlic, leeks, mushrooms
  • Chick peas, lentils, kidney beans
  • Apples, pears, apricots, mango, cherries
  • Honey
  • Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese,
  • Sugar substitutes (for example, sorbitol)

Many sources also label wheat and other grains as problematic. This is because intolerance to a specific substance in wheat was one of the starting points of the FODMAP concept. The authors thought wheat contained large amounts of fructans, or fructose chains. Wheat, however, is a very thoroughly researched food and the claim about the large quantities of fructans contained in the wheat did not stand up to the scientific examination. But many articles on the FODMAP concept still contain wheat or even gluten as alleged triggers for symptoms. In our view, gluten has nothing to do with a low-FODMAP diet, since it has a completely different structure: all FODMAPs are carbohydrates, but gluten is a protein. Independent of the FODMAP concept however, more and more people are reporting Wheat Intolerance (Wheat Sensitivity). In addition, Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease) is increasingly diagnosed.

Low-FODMAP diet in three phases

Any strict diet should be discussed with a doctor, as there is a risk of malnutrition. This is especially true for the low-FODMAP diet, as patients are removing many foods at the same time from their diet. Before the start of the diet, diseases that could explain their symptoms such as Celiac Disease, Lactose Intolerance, Fructose Malabsorption, further carbohydrate intolerance, or malfunction of the pancreas should be ruled out.

The development of a low-FODMAP diet plan should be done with the assistance of a doctor or dietician and should be divided into three sections. In the first phase, the patient does not eat FODMAP-rich foods for four to six weeks. Their symptoms should diminish significantly. In the second phase, the patient gradually examines individual foods to determine which they are able to tolerate and in what quantity. In the third phase, a reduced-FODMAP diet is developed, which involves as few restrictions as possible.

For whom is a low-FODMAP diet suitable for?

In general, patients with irritable bowels report a positive effect of the FODMAP diet. In addition, patients suffering from Lactose- and / or Fructose Intolerance, which were not improved by the absence of lactose- and / or fructose-containing foods alone may benefit. Patients with inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's Disease have also had good experiences with low-FODMAP diets.

Critics warn that the strict conversion to a low-FODMAP diet changes the intestinal flora. In the worst cases, this may aggravate the symptoms.

All Frusano products are fructose-free and lactose-free, free from sugar substitutes, and free from indigestible multiple sugars. They are therefore suitable for low-FODMAP diet: