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Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D.

Turmeric for IBS

By June 14, 2010

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Adrienne Dellwo, About.com Guide to Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been writing a nifty new series in which she focuses on the health benefits of various foods. Last week her focus was on the spice turmeric:

What caught my eye was a statement she made regarding turmeric and IBS. I contacted Adrienne, who was nice enough to share with me the study she based that statement on. I took a look at that study and thought I would share the results with you.

The study was published in 2004. According to the abstract, 500 volunteers with IBS agreed to participate and were given either one or two tablets of turmeric extract daily for eight weeks. The results suggested a decrease in IBS prevalence and abdominal pain, as well as improvement in IBS quality of life. Results were similar regardless of whether subjects took one or two tablets.

The major difficulty in interpreting these findings was the lack of a placebo comparison. Therefore, no firm conclusions can be drawn regarding the effectiveness of turmeric for IBS. However, given the overall health benefits of turmeric as outlined so nicely by Adrienne, it might be something for you to consider.

I highly recommend that you check out Adrienne's food overviews. They are listed in her blog:

Source:

Bundy, R., et.al. "Turmeric Extract May Improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptomology in Otherwise Healthy Adults: A Pilot Study" The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2004 10:1015-1018.

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