1986 …2020

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Personal profile


Developing diet strategies to treat functional gut disorders

Dr Jane Muir is currently Head of Translational Nutrition Science in the Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School, Monash University.She is a trained dietitian with a PhD in biochemistry and has over 20 years experience in the area of nutrition research.Her major research focus has been on the important role of fermentable carbohydrates in the health of the gastrointestinal tract.

Jane has made a major contribution to understanding the role of resistant starch (RS) (starch that escapes digestion in the small intestine) in gastrointestinal health. In 1990, she developed an assay for measuring levels of resistant starch in food. This assay was then validated and used to construct diets which differ greatly in levels of starch escaping digestion (ie. low and high in resistant starch). These diets were used in subsequent studies to investigate the physiological significance of including resistant starch in the diet.

Since 2001, Jane has worked in collaboration with the Gastroenterologist- Prof Peter Gibson.
This position provided her with the opportunity to develop and extend her research in the area of carbohydrates in the gut further, while strengthening the role of Nutrition and Dietetic research in the clinical setting.

Her primary focus has been assisting with the development of new diet therapies to treat and control diet-related gastrointestinal dysfunction.
A major focus of their research involved a new area of carbohydrate research involving poorly absorbed short chain carbohydrates (called FODMAPs).
FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo- Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols). FODMAPs are found in a wide variety of foods and include; excess fructose (in pears, apples), sugar polyols (sorbitol and mannitol in stone fruits and artificial sweeteners), lactose (in milk), fructans and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) (rye, artichoke, garlic, onions) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) (stachyose, raffinose, in legumes and nuts).

Jane has helped to establish the laboratory techniques to quantify the FODMAP sugars in foods.
The group have now started assembling, for the first time, comprehensive FODMAP food composition tables, which has been essential for their research into studying the physiological effects of these sugars in the gastrointestinal tract.

These FODMAP food composition tables are also essential for designing new diet strategies for the treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common disorder seen in gastroenterological practices and affects 1 in 7 Australians.

Research area keywords

  • Carbohydrates
  • Gastrointestinal Function
  • Dietary Fibre
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Research Output

1 Citation (Scopus)

Implementation of the low FODMAP diet in functional gastrointestinal symptoms: A real-world experience

Tuck, C. J., Reed, D. E., Muir, J. G. & Vanner, S. J., 1 Jan 2020, In : Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 32, 1, 13 p., e13730.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

An overview of fiber and fiber supplements for irritable bowel syndrome

Muir, J., 1 Jan 2019, In : Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 15, 7, p. 387-389 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

Dietary fat and the faecal microbiome: Where collinearity may lead to incorrect attribution of effects to fat

Ardalan, Z. S., Sparrow, M. P., Muir, J. G. & Gibson, P. R., Sep 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Gut. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOtherpeer-review

Gluten-free and low-FODMAP sourdoughs for patients with coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome: A clinical perspective

Muir, J. G., Varney, J. E., Ajamian, M. & Gibson, P. R., 2 Feb 2019, In : International Journal of Food Microbiology. 290, p. 237-246 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)