Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often feel they have some form of dietary intolerance and frequently try exclusion diets.
Tests attempting to predict food sensitivity in IBS have been disappointing but none have utilised IgG antibodies.
In this new study carried out by a group of researchers in Manchester, the therapeutic potential of dietary elimination based on the presence of IgG antibodies to food was assessed.
150 randomly picked outpatients with IBS were given, for 3 months, either a diet excluding all foods to which they had raised IgG antibodies (enzyme linked immunosorbant assay test) or a sham diet excluding the same number of foods but not those to which they had antibodies.
Primary outcomes were measured as: change in IBS symptom severity and global rating scores.
Non-colonic symptomatology, quality of life, and anxiety/depression were noted as secondary outcomes.
Food elimination based on IgG antibodies may be effective in reducing IBS symptoms
The researchers used a generalised linear model in order to analyse their intention to treat.
The group found that after 12 weeks, the true diet resulted in a 10% greater reduction in symptom score than the sham diet with this value increasing to 26% in fully compliant patients.
Global rating also significantly improved in the true diet group as a whole and even more in compliant patients.
All other outcomes showed trends favouring the true diet.
Relaxing the diet led to a 24% greater deterioration in symptoms in those on the true diet.
The group concluded that food elimination based on IgG antibodies may be effective in reducing IBS symptoms and it warrants further biomedical research.