Home   >   Blog   >   FODMAPS I


December 31, 2007

Professor Peter GibsonOrg. Unit: Department of Medicine, Box Hill Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Email:

Title: Director of Gastroenterology for Eastern Health Phone: +61 3 989 50369 Dept: Medicine, Box Hill Hospital

FODMAPS, science for the SCD

(thank you to the anonymous person who clued me in to FODMAPS)

The specific carbohydrate diet focuses on consuming digestible carbohydrates--not low carbs or south beach carbs or zone carbs or be-in-bathing-suit-shape-7-day carbs*.

As is often repeated in "SCD world", the reason is to starve out harmful bacteria which is happily feeding away on undigested carbs sitting in the gut.

Previous food studies for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis have focused on digestability of fat or lactose or other solitary, easy to test dietary factors. Fairly recently, doctors in the Gastroenterology department of Monash University in Australia have focused on the role of "highly fermentable but poorly digested" carbohydrates--the type of carbohydrates avoided on the SCD.

In a medical journal article, Professor Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd termed these carbohydrates FODMAPS--Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. (And you thought "SCD" wasn't easy to remember:) The authors note that the Western diet has significantly increased its intake of these poorly digested carbs, or FODMAPS:

Changes Observed Details
Spectrum of sugars consumed Sucrose less, lactose stable, fructose increased
(fourfold in 10-year-old children, nearly 20% in population)
Location of food intake Increase in away-from-home food (fast food outlets or restaurants); >35% food consumed away from home
Pattern of eating Nearly 50% increase in proportion of energy from snacks compared with meals across all age groups
Food selection Increase in salty snacks, pizza, sweetened beverages doubled in 20 years; increase in consumption of pasta, cakes, breads, cereals, high fruit products
Use of caloric sweeteners Increase, particularly in beverages

What does this mean?

specfic carbohydrate diet will move into the mainstream.

Recent research is moving far past the "latest IBD knowledge of 2002".

Here are some recent highlights.

    - Intestinal flora effects intestinal permeability

    - Intestinal permeability is a predisposing factor to Crohn's disease (and uclerative colitis)

Elaine Gottschall's specific carbohydrate diet has a two-pronged approach to alleviating intestinal distress: