Gail S. Thornton
West Mill Consulting
NATIONAL SURVEY ON USE OF PEPPERMINT OIL IN IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) CORROBORATES OBSERVATIONS FROM PREVIOUS META ANALYSIS AND AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY (ACG) MONOGRAPH
Boca Raton, Fla. – (January 19, 2016) – In a national survey conducted in October 2015, U.S. gastroenterologists were asked about their use of peppermint oil in the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The survey revealed that the majority (83 percent) of these gastrointestinal specialists were recommending peppermint oil for their IBS patients.
“These findings may be somewhat surprising to many people, but there is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of peppermint oil in IBS,” said Michael S. Epstein, M.D., a leading gastroenterologist. Dr. Epstein is also the Chief Medical Advisor for IM HealthScience® LLC, innovators of IBgard®, a novel medical food containing peppermint oil for the dietary management of IBS.
In an article entitled, “Therapy Options in Irritable Bowel Syndrome,”1 published in December 2010, in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the authors conducted a meta analysis of the options available in the management of IBS. Management options analyzed included various prescription therapies, such as antispasmodics, antidepressants, and non- prescription options, such as peppermint oil, probiotics and fiber. With respect to peppermint oil, the analysis included four studies with a total of 392 patients. Three out of four of those studies had a Jadad score (validated scoring system that measures quality of study on a scale of 0 to 5) of four or higher.
The authors analyzed the outcome of various options for IBS management. Based on their analysis of overall efficacy, they concluded that the “highest efficacy is currently found for peppermint oil, followed by psychotherapeutic and psychopharmaceutical interventions and probiotics. Traditional antispasmodic therapy has moderate efficacy, whereas the list of (partially failed or cancelled) motility-affecting drugs yielded weak clinical results, and therapies of bran and fiber are of no value in IBS.”
In an American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) monograph on the management of IBS published in August 2014,2 the ACG summarized, “In specific formulations, which may not be universally available, peppermint oil is effective in IBS.” No strong recommendation was made for any product category, including peppermint oil, for the management of diarrhea predominant (IBS-D), one of the most prevalent types of IBS. This monograph also identified a need for more studies and longer clinical trials with peppermint oil.
About Irritable Bowel Syndrome
One in six Americans experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a frustrating, underdiagnosed and undertreated condition characterized by abdominal pain associated with alteration in stool frequency and/or form. Bloating is also a common symptom experienced by patients with IBS. Doctors are not sure what causes IBS. It is likely that there are numerous causes that manifest as the syndrome of symptoms called IBS (where there is no known organic cause). There is currently no cure for IBS and management options are limited.
IBgard® is a medical food containing l-Menthol, the principal component in peppermint oil, which has been shown to have significant impact on the management of IBS symptoms. In multiple clinical studies, including one trial on IBgard, peppermint oil has been shown to provide relief from IBS symptoms. Peppermint oil can help normalize the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, which have been compromised by IBS. Peppermint oil has also been shown to normalize intestinal transit time. With its patented SST® technology, pioneered by IM HealthScience®, IBgard® capsules release Ultramen®, an ultra-purified peppermint oil, in the small intestine.
While IBgard® does not require a prescription, as a medical food, it must be used under medical supervision. The usual adult dose of IBgard® is 1-2 capsules as needed, up to three times a day, not to exceed 8 capsules per day.
IBgard® is now accessible to consumers in the digestive aisle at most CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens stores nationwide. For more information, visit www.IBgard.com to learn more about IBgard®.
About IM HealthScience®
IM HealthScience® is a privately held company based in Boca Raton, Florida, that developed IBgard®. It was founded in 2010 by a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical research and development and management executives. The company is dedicated to developing products to address gastrointestinal issues where there is a high, unmet need, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Functional Dyspepsia n(FD), Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and Crohn’s Disease (CD). The IM HealthScience® advantage comes from developing products based on its patented, targeted- delivery technologies called Site Specific Targeting (SST®).
1 European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 22(12), 1401-1411. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3283405a17.
2American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109(S2-S26). doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.187.