Friday, 15 May 2015

The importance of dietary research in chronic gastrointestinal diseases

By CK Yao (Dietitian, PhD Candidate)

Behind every successful dietary therapy is the undertaking of extensive dietary research and its research volunteers!

The Therapeutics Guidelines Australia1 currently recommends a low FODMAP diet as the first line of management for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A low FODMAP diet has undergone 10+ years of research to get where it is today.

Research into the use of a low FODMAP diet in IBS started with challenge studies of individual FODMAPs to prove the induction of symptoms and laboratory studies to identify which foods FODMAPs are present in. The knowledge obtained was then used to generate whole diets to be trialled via clinical studies in individuals with IBS. The positive results of the low FODMAP diet have been reproduced in numerous research studies around the world.

Our department continues to conduct research to improve our understanding in the following areas:

(i) the relationship between food components and the gut 

(ii) food strategies to ease the burden of following a low FODMAP diet

(ii) the physiology behind a maturing gut and gut symptoms in infants

(iv) how diet can be applied to various gastrointestinal disorders such as in inflammatory bowel disease

To help us continue with the promotion of evidence-based dietary recommendations, we welcome anyone living in Melbourne to become a research volunteer. By participating in our research, you are contributing to the design of better therapies to improve the management of these gut conditions.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our past and current research participants for all their time, effort and sacrifices! Our achievements would not have been possible without you!

A full list of trials we're currently running can be found here.


1. Gastrointestinal Expert Group, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited. Therapeutic guidelines: gastrointestinal version 5, 2011. 5th ed. Melbourne, Australia: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2011.


  1. Thank you for the amazing work you are doing! It has changed my life.

  2. It's fantastic to hear the Low FODMAP Diet has changed your life, Phyllis. It's made our week and shows that all this hard work is worthwhile. Thank you.