TURMERIC & IBS. WHAT’s THE LINK?
Turmeric has been used to treat conditions, including colds, digestive problems, and infections. Its potential healing properties come from curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory compound it contains.
Turmeric has recently attracted attention for its potential to reduce IBS symptoms. IBS is a common disorder of the digestive system that causes symptoms, such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation.
The cause of IBS is unknown, and there are currently no available cures. Symptoms of IBS are typically managed using medicine and lifestyle changes that tend to involve changes in diet.
Including turmeric as part of a healthful diet-based approach to managing IBS symptoms is an easy step to take.
How much beneficial it is?
One study found that curcumin had a positive impact on gastrointestinal functioning in rats. The authors of the study suggested that their findings could have implications for the use curcumin in treating IBS symptoms. However, more studies are needed in humans to establish this conclusively.
A pilot study conducted in 2004 found that human participants with IBS who took 2 tablets of turmeric every day for 8 weeks reported reductions in abdominal discomfort and improved bowel movement patterns.
However, this study lacked a control group, and the authors concluded that more research was needed to rule out the placebo effect and other variables.
Turmeric has been associated with benefits for other disorders of the digestive system, including ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition that causes diarrhea and abdominal pain.
One study in 2015 found that adding curcumin to the regular treatment routine had a positive impact on the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
There are some positive findings relating to the use of turmeric in reducing IBS symptoms, and these effects may also extend to other digestive disorders. However, more research is required to determine whether turmeric can have any real benefits for the treatment of IBS.
Side effects and safety
Curcumin is considered safe to consume for most people for short-term use only.
High doses may cause increased gastrointestinal symptoms. It is best to take the supplements as recommended by the manufacturer and choose the lowest dose. More studies are needed to determine toxicity associated with long-term use.
Adding turmeric to your diet may also help to reduce IBS symptoms although some side effects can occur with regular turmeric use, including:
- abdominal pain
- digestive problems