Definition of FODMAPs

FODMAPs: an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are a group of sugar-related carbohydrates that have been termed "indigestible" because they are poorly broken down in the intestine and absorbed into the body. The FODMAPs are fermented by bacteria within the intestine with the production of gas and the secretion of fluid into the intestine. Lactose, the sugar in milk, is the most common example of a FODMAP that is poorly digested and absorbed by many people.

FODMAPs also are found in foods including pears, apples, honey, artichokes, garlic, onions, wheat, rye, stone fruits, some vegetables, and artificial sweeteners. Restricting the intake of foods high in FODMAPs reduces the amount of intestinal gas and fluid. A diet low in these compounds has been proposed as a way to manage irritable bowel-related symptoms, since reducing these fermentable substances decreases the amount of gas and water in the intestine that leads to bloating, and loose bowel movements.

Magge, S. et al. "Low-FODMAP Diet for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). Nov 2012; 8(11): 739–745.

Muir, J. et al. "The Low FODMAP Diet for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders." Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). Jul 2013; 9(7): 450–452.

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