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“Studies Link Composition of Gut Microbiome to Childhood IBS, Long-term Dietary Patterns”

Published date: July 20, 2012 | Modified date:
by Dr Stephen Wangen
(img thanks to

An article from Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News discusses a recent study that sought to determine the connection between gastrointestinal microbiota and IBS in children [update 2013: they changed the link or removed the article]. Studies in adults have indicated that the gastrointestinal microbiota could be involved in IBS.

It’s nice to see that they are looking at these issues, but it’s important for people to understand that there is a gigantic chasm between research like this and what is happening at the doctors office. This is a gap we’ve been seeking to fill at the IBS Treatment Center. This also serves as yet another reminder that it’s up to the patient to look at the information objectively and remember that IBS treatment is different for everyone because there is no one specific cause of IBS.

Our favorite quote…
“Two children who appear to have the same type of chronic pain may actually need two different treatments.”

Um…yes…that’s correct.


Diet can affect health by modulating gut microbiome composition, and University of Pennsylvania researchers reported that certain microbial enterotype states are associated with long-term dietary patterns (Wu GD et al. Science 2011;334:105-108).

Gary D. Wu, MD, and colleagues used dietary inventories and 16S rDNA sequencing to characterize fecal samples from 98 individuals.

“We investigated the association of dietary and environmental variables with the gut microbiota,” he explained.

A controlled feeding study of 10 subjects showed that microbiome composition changed detectably within 24 hours of initiating a high-fat/low-fiber or a low-fat/high-fiber diet, but that enterotype identity remained stable during the 10 days.

In the interventional study, changes were significant and rapid, but the magnitude of the changes was modest and not sufficient to switch subjects to another enterotype. In comparing short- and long-term diets, the investigators found that only long-term diets were correlated with enterotype clustering.

Study that this article is based upon can be found at

Image thanks to wellsphere