In June 2018 researchers from Spain and the UK published the results of their study to assess the effect of prebiotics on individuals with functional gastrointestinal disorders and flatulence. For four weeks, 19 individuals were given a prebiotic supplement and consumed a Mediterranean type diet while 21 individuals were given a glucose tablet and consumed a diet low in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. Faecal microbiota, intestinal gas production and digestive sensations were assessed before and after the study period. Results showed that those taking the prebiotic had an increase in Bifidobacterium sequences and a decrease in Bilophila wadsworthia whereas those on the diet low in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols had a decrease in Bifidobacterium sequences and an increase in Bilophila wadsworthia. Both groups experienced a significant reduction in symptoms although it was only the prebiotic group who had a non-significant reduction in flatulence and stomach rumblings. After discontinuing the prebiotic supplementation, the reduction in symptoms lasted for approximately two weeks whereas symptoms reappeared immediately after the diet low in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols was discontinued.
Huaman JW et al. Effects of Prebiotics vs a Diet Low in Fodmaps in Patients with Functional Gut Disorder. Gastroenterology. 2018 Jun 28. [Epub ahead of print]