Association between self-reported vegetarian diet and the irritable bowel syndrome in the French NutriNet cohort

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Abstract

© 2017 Buscail et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: There is growing interest in using diet counselling in the management of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Among new emerging diets, vegetarian diets (VD) seem to be experiencing an important popularity, partly because of their alleged health benefits. A recent study performed among a rural Indian population showed that predominant VD could be associated with IBS. Objective: This cross-sectional study aimed at assessing the association between the VD and IBS, among a large French cohort, the NutriNet-santé study. Methods: Subjects participating in the NutriNet-Santé cohort study completed a questionnaire based on Rome III criteria (N = 41,682). Anthropometrics, socio-demographical and lifestyle data, including VD, were collected prior to the completion of Rome III questionnaire via self-administered questionnaires. Association between VD and IBS and its subtypes was investigated through multivariate logistic regression. Results: The included subjects were mainly women (78.0%) and the mean age was 49.8±14.3 years. Among these individuals, 2,264 (5.4%) presented an IBS, and 805 (1.9%) reported a VD. Overall, VD was not associated with IBS or subtypes. A stable VD (i.e. self-declared at least three times) was associated with IBS (aOR 2.60 95%CI [1.37–4.91]), IBS mixed (aOR 2.97 95%CI [1.20–7.36]) and IBS diarrhoea (aOR 2.77 95%CI [1.01–7.59]). Conclusions: This study suggests that a long term VD could be associated with IBS. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to confirm these results, and investigate the multiple aspects of the vegetarian diet, possibly related to the IBS.

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Buscail, C., Sabate, J. M., Bouchoucha, M., Torres, M. J., Allès, B., Hercberg, S., … Julia, C. (2017). Association between self-reported vegetarian diet and the irritable bowel syndrome in the French NutriNet cohort. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183039

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