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St. John’s Wort Shown Useless For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

January 4, 2010: 05:50 PM EST
While antidepressants are often used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the herbal antidepressant supplement St. John’s wort, which has been shown helpful in depression and certain pain syndromes, is apparently useless, according to new research. IBS affects the colon and commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. About 58 million people, mostly women, suffer from IBS. In this clinical trial involving 70 participants with IBS – half receiving St. John’s wort and half a placebo for three months – the placebo group actually fared better than the herbal supplement group.
Yuri A Saito, Enrique Rey, et al., "A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of St John's Wort for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome", The American Journal of Gastroenterology, January 04, 2010, © The American College of Gastroenterology
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