RSSBerberine reduces digestive symptoms

Posted on Tue, 27 Oct 15

Berberine reduces digestive symptoms

Berberine, a phytochemical found in traditional herbal medicines, has been show to relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in a new randomized controlled trial.

A number of herbs rich in berberine have traditionally been used to treat gastrointestinal illness, especially infections and diarrhoea. Indeed modern research has demonstrated anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, gastro protective effects of berberine (1). And clinical research has demonstrated an anti-diarrhoea effect of 200 mg per day of berberine hydrochloride (2).

A new study tested the effects of 400 mg berberine hydrochloride twice daily in people with diarrhoea predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) over an 8-week period (3).

Compared to placebo, berberine reduced diarrhoea frequency, abdominal pain, and urgent need for defecation. Berberine also resulted in a trend to improvement in overall IBS symptom score, depression, anxiety, and quality of life.

“Further studies should be warranted to confirm that berberine hydrochloride is a new promising candidate to improve the symptom of discomfort in IBS-D,” concluded the study investigators.

If you are considering berberine it is available as a dietary supplement and typically taken at around 500 mg to 1000 mg per day in divided doses. Berbeine is safe and rarely associated with side-effects (minor gastrointestinal symptoms which typically resolve without needing to stop, or by reducing to 500 mg daily) (4). 


  1. Chen C, et al. Effects of berberine in the gastrointestinal tract - a review of actions and therapeutic implications. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(5):1053-70. 
  2. Rabbani GH. Mechanism and treatment of diarrhoea due to Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli: roles of drugs and prostaglandins. Dan Med Bull. 1996 Apr;43(2):173-85.
  3. Chen C, et al. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Berberine Hydrochloride in Patients with Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Phytother Res. 2015 Sep 24. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5475.
  4. Lan J, et al. Meta-analysis of the effect and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipemia and hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Feb 23;161:69-81.

Tags: Berberine, The Digestive Health Solution, IBS, Gut Health

Related Articles

« Back to Latest Blog Entries