A study published this week by the U.S. National Institute of Health, and published in print by the journal Neurogastroenterology & Motility, has found that a vegetarian diet is associated with a significantly reduced risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), compared to diets where meat is consumed on a regular basis.
“Although several dietary factors have been reported to alleviate or aggravate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), no information is available linking habitual dietary patterns to irritable bowel syndrome”, states the study’s abstract. “This study was undertaken to assess the association between dietary patterns and the risk of IBS among Iranian adults.”
For the study, “data on 3846 Iranian adults working in 50 different health centers were examined”, with dietary intake of study participants assessed using a 106-item self-administered Dish-based Semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (DS-FFQ).
Researchers “identified four major dietary patterns: (i) ‘fast food’, (ii) ‘traditional’, (iii) ‘lacto-vegetarian‘, and (iv) ‘western’ dietary pattern.”
After adjustment for potential confounders, they found that “those in the highest quartile of ‘fast food’ dietary pattern were tended to have higher risk of IBS than those in the lowest quartile”.
However; “An inverse association was also found between ‘lacto-vegetarian‘ dietary pattern and risk of IBS; such that even after adjustment for potential confounders, those in top quartile of this dietary pattern were 24% less likely to have IBS.”
Researchers conclude; “We found that ‘lacto-vegetarian‘ dietary pattern was associated with reduced risk, while ‘fast food’ dietary pattern was associated with a greater risk of IBS in Iranian adults.”
The full study can be found by clicking here.