Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder, causing abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. It affects up to 20 % of the population and has no cure. Apart from gastroenteritis and food intolerance, IBS can be brought on by food poisoning, stress, a reaction to antibiotics, and in some cases is genetic.
Stuart Brierley and colleagues, University of Adelaide, Australia, have found how peppermint, commonly prescribed by naturopaths for many years, is able to soothe inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract. They show that peppermint acts through a specific anti-pain channel called TRPM8 to reduce pain sensing fibers.
This is potentially the first step in determining a new type of mainstream clinical treatment for IBS.
- A novel role for TRPM8 in visceral afferent function
A. M. Harrington, P. A. Hughes, C. M. Martin, J. Yang, J. Castro, N. J. Isaacs, L. A. Blackshaw, S. M. Brierley,