Peppermint Relieves IBS, Study Says
Peppermint relieves IBS and reduces inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Adelaide's Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory.
The researchers found that peppermint prompts an “anti-pain channel” called TRPM8, which works to reduce inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract that is usually brought on by foods such as mustard and chili.
"This is potentially the first step in determining a new type of mainstream clinical treatment for irritable bowel syndrome," Dr. Stuart Brierley, one of 25 researchers who work at Adelaide's Nerve-Gut Research Lab, said in a news statement. "Some people find their symptoms appear after consuming fatty and spicy foods, coffee and alcohol, but it is more complex than that. There appears to be a definite link between IBS and a former bout of gastroenteritis, which leaves nerve pain fibres in a heightened state, altering mechanisms in the gut wall and resulting in ongoing pain."
According to PubMed Health, one out of six people in the U.S. suffer from IBS and it is more common among women. Symptoms commonly associated with the disorder include bloating, stomach cramps, lower back pain, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn.
Peter Whorwell, a leading researcher on IBS and a professor of medicine at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, told TopNews U.S. that patients who suffer form IBS should also incorporate white bread, white pasta, biscuits, cream crackers or anything made from refined white flour into their diet.
The study was published in the journal Pain.