Role of FODMAP content in enteral nutrition-associated diarrhea.Halmos EP. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Dec;28 Suppl 4:25-8.
Gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea are common complications of enteral nutrition (EN); however, the cause is unclear.
Mode of EN delivery that alters digestion and possibly absorption is suggested to contribute to the high incidence of diarrhea; however, enteral formula is frequently blamed. Most research has focused on fiber-supplemented EN, with a meta-analysis showing that fiber reduces the incidence of diarrhea in non-intensive care unit studies. Other hypotheses include formula osmolality and FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) content. FODMAPs are poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates that exert an osmotic effect. Dietary FODMAPs have been shown to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, in those with irritable bowel syndrome and, given a high-enough dose, will induce a laxative effect in most people. As FODMAPs are commonly added to enteral formula and EN is frequently used as the main source of nutrition, it is reasonable to hypothesize that EN provides more FODMAPs than usual dietary intake and increases risk for developing diarrhea. This hypothesis was assessed through a retrospective study showing that the standard-use enteral formula Isosource 1.5 had a protective effect of developing diarrhea. The only characteristic unique to Isosource 1.5 was the lower FODMAP content as determined through methodologies previously validated for food analysis. Methodologies for application to enteral formulas are currently undergoing formal validation. Once confirmed for application in enteral formula, future directions include FODMAP analysis of specific ingredients to increase understanding of potential problems associated with enteral formula and a randomized, controlled trial investigating the role of formula FODMAP content.