Berberine is a powerful plant extract with many health benefits. New research shows it helps to relieve digestive problems.

IBS affects approximately one in five Americans. Symptoms can range from mildly annoying to completely disrupting a person’s day and life. Common symptoms of IBS include abdominal bloating, gas, feeling uncomfortable after eating and altered bowel habits – diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both. Berberine has been shown to be most effective in diarrhea dominant IBS.

This particular study was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research. 132 patients were randomized to either receive 400 mg of berberine twice daily or a placebo for 8 weeks. Symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain and any urgent need for defecation were recorded daily. The researchers also looked out for any side effects the patients may have experienced.

After all the patients completed the study, they were assessed for IBS symptom scores, depression and anxiety as well as quality of life. The participants in the berberine group experienced a reduction in diarrhea frequency, abdominal pain frequency and the urgent need for defecation frequency. The patients also noticed a reduction in anxiety, depression and improved quality of life, as can be expected when they received significant relief from their digestive problems.

Berberine is quite an amazing natural medicine with so many health benefits. It has strong antimicrobial effects against a wide range of intestinal bacteria and parasites. The majority of cases of irritable bowel syndrome are due to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and/or dysbiosis, therefore it’s not surprising that berberine would be helpful.