Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Berberine and IBS

An article by Jacob Schor ND in the August 2016 issue of the Natural Medicine Journal looked at the impact of berberine on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diarrhea Predominant (IBS-D).  The article focused on a study led by Chen, Tao, and Liu that was published in the November 2015 issue of Phytotherapy Research.  There were 132 participants (ages 18 - 65 years) in the study and they were split into a berberine dosing group (200 mg of berberine hydrochloride 2 times per day for 8 weeks) and a placebo dosing group (200 mg of vitamin C 2 times per day for 8 weeks).  All participants self-assessed their IBS symptoms with daily questionnaires during the study and were also scored for IBS symptoms, anxiety, depression, and quality of life both before and after the 8 weeks of berberine/placebo dosing.  Both groups saw a reduction in symptoms during the 8 week study, but by week 8, frequency of diarrhea was significantly lower in the berberine dosing group compared to the placebo dosing group.  The berberine dosing group also noted less urgency and frequency during weeks 4 through 8 while this was not noted by the placebo dosing group.  By week 8, the placebo dosing group had seen a 29.4% reduction in abdominal pain while the berberine dosing group had seen a 64.6% reduction.  The berberine dosing group also saw significant reductions in their IBS score, anxiety score, and depression score and an increased quality of life score.  There were no changes in these scores for the placebo dosing group.   The information gathered from this study indicates that berberine (which is extracted from goldenseal, Oregon grape root, barberry) is an excellent support to consider for managing IBS-D.

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