Berberine For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

New research has discovered that berberine supplementation can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

One hundred and thirty-two participants were recruited for a 14-week, single-center, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, to test the effects of berberine supplementation. Participants were included in the study if they met the Rome III classification for diarrhea predominant IBS (IBS-D). Irritable bowel symptom scores for diarrhea, abdominal pain, urgency, frequency, and other adverse effects were used in order to track changes. Depression, anxiety scores, and quality of life scores related to ICS were also completed.

Participants were placed in either a berberine experimental group, or a placebo group. Participants in the experimental group received a twice-daily dose of 200 milligrams of berberine hydrochloride. The placebo group was given a twice-daily dose of 200 milligrams of vitamin C. The experimental period was conducted for eight weeks, and then participants were followed for another four weeks.

Results showed that the participants receiving berberine supplementation saw an increased improvement in symptoms, when compared to the placebo group. Both groups did see a reduction in frequency of defecation at the eight-week mark. However, only the group of participants receiving berberine reported less urgency and frequency in defecation at the four-week mark. Reduction in pain in the berberine group was also seen in the third week, which continued through to the eighth week. Furthermore, the berberine group participants saw a reduction in depression and anxiety scores, when compared to the placebo group participants.

This study emphasizes the possible use for berberine in order to improve IBS symptoms, along with reduced anxiety and depression in patients with IBS-D.


raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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