Gut microbiota may be involved in the presence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptomatology in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients in remission. Bread is an important source of dietary fiber, and a potential prebiotic. To assess the effect of a bread baked using traditional elaboration, in comparison with using modern elaboration procedures, in changing the gut microbiota and relieving IBS-like symptoms in patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis. Thirty-one UC patients in remission with IBS-like symptoms were randomly assigned to a dietary intervention with 200 g/d of either treatment or control bread for 8 weeks. Clinical symptomatology was tested using questionnaires and inflammatory parameters. Changes in fecal microbiota composition were assessed by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. A decrease in IBS-like symptomatology was observed after both the treatment and control bread interventions as reductions in IBS-Symptom Severity Score values (p-value < 0.001) and presence of abdominal pain (p-value < 0.001). The treatment bread suggestively reduced the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio (p-value = 0.058). In addition, the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio seemed to be associated with improving IBS-like symptoms as suggested by a slight decrease in patient without abdominal pain (p-value = 0.059). No statistically significant differential abundances were found at any taxonomic level. The intake of a bread baked using traditional elaboration decreased the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, which seemed to be associated with improving IBS-like symptoms in quiescent ulcerative colitis patients. These findings suggest that the traditional bread elaboration has a potential prebiotic effect improving gut health (ClinicalTrials.gov ID number of study: NCT05656391).

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