Traditional cures for irritable bowel syndrome maybe the most effectiveâ€¦
A new study to determine the efficiency of alternative treatments for IBS has shown that older remedies like peppermint oil and soluble fiber are amongst the most effective.
The research team, led by Dr Alex Ford performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials comparing fiber, antispasmodics and peppermint oil with placebo or no treatment, in more than 2500 adult patients with IBS.
Fiber, antispasmodics and peppermint oil were all found to be effective treatments for IBS without causing any serious adverse effects.
The researchers analyzed 12 studies involving 591 patients and compared fiber with placebo, or no treatment.
They found that insoluble fiber such as bran was not beneficial, only isphaghula husk (soluble fiber) significantly reduced symptoms.
The researchers further analyzed 22 studies comparing various antispasmodics with placebo in 1778 patients.
The analysis showed that hyoscine, extracted from the cork wood tree, was the most successful at preventing symptoms of IBS.
Peppermint oil seemed to be the most effective treatment of the three, based on four trials involving 392 patients. However all three treatments have shown promise as effective therapies for IBS.
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