Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects ten to fifteen percent of Americans. While diagnosing IBS isn’t an exact science, it is usually characterized by stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and/or irregular bowel movements on a regular basis. It is often triggered by stress and particular foods.
Beyond IBS, some people also suffer from more severe inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases can be debilitating and require both medication and strict dietary changes.
Whether you suffer from occasional IBS or a serious IBD, the latest research indicates that adding curcumin to your diet could help alleviate your symptoms.
Curcumin is the active compound in the spice turmeric. It has been a fixture of Eastern medicine for thousands of years, and literally hundreds of studies have been conducted to research the power of curcumin to fight various diseases and conditions.
This is because curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and pain relief properties. When we get injured, our bodies trigger an inflammatory response to stave off infection and heal the wound. But as we age and as our immune system becomes compromised – whether due to diet, health conditions, or lifestyle – that inflammatory response becomes chronic, and it starts to do more damage than good.
Both IBS and IBDs have an inflammatory component. Researchers have therefore hypothesized that a daily dose of curcumin could help fight these diseases and conditions.
Curcumin and IBS
One study done in 2004 identified 207 volunteers with IBS. The participants were then given either one or two tablets of “a standardized turmeric extract” for eight weeks. After the trial period, the group that received one tablet per day reported that their abdominal pain/discomfort score went down 22%. The group who took two tablets saw their score go down 25%. In the two groups combined, about two-thirds of participants reported an improvement in symptoms and more favorable bowel movements. This study is promising, but further studies need to be done with placebo groups to help verify these findings.
Curcumin and IBDs
In another pilot study [pdf], five patients with Crohn’s disease and five patients with ulcerative colitis were given curcumin every day in addition to their usual medications. Of those ten patients, nine showed both immunological and symptomatic improvement at the end of the study, which lasted for a few months.
In fact, four of the patients with ulcerative colitis were able to either decrease or stop taking their prescribed medications. They reported less frequent bowel movements, less pain and cramping, and more formed stools.
Again, this study was very small, but the results are promising and in keeping with what other researchers have discovered about curcumin.
No study has ever found that taking a regular dose of curcumin has negative side effects. At the same time, many studies have found that curcumin could help reduce the symptoms of or even reverse such conditions as arthritis, heart disease, neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, and some cancers.
To get your daily dose of curcumin, try ZYN. With four fresh flavors, you’ll get hydration, an immune system boost, and possible relief for IBS when you drink a bottle every day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.