The effect of dietary interventions for recurrent abdominal pain in 1453 children aged between 4 and 18 years was assessed in the Cochrane systematic review of 19 randomised controlled trials. Thirteen studies (1017 children) investigated the effect of probiotics compared to placebo, four studies (299 children) were trials of fibre-based interventions, one study (34 children) compared a low FODMAP diet with a standard diet and one trial was a study of a fructose-restricted diet (103 children). The duration of most interventions was four to six weeks and the follow-up ranging from one to five months.
Supplementation with probiotics significantly reduced the pain frequency and intensity up to 3 months post-intervention compared to placebo. The children with IBS were more likely to experience relieve in pain when taking probiotics than those given placebo.
In four fibre-based intervention studies, no evidence was found for the effectiveness of fibre supplements in the management of recurrent abdominal pain.
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Reference: Newlove-Delgado TV et al. Dietary interventions for recurrent abdominal pain in childhood. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD010972.