St. John's Wort Doesn't Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome

"Additionally, it is important to point out that those treated with St. John's wort were not depressed," noted MacKay, "so this study does not answer the question of whether or not St. Johns wort may have benefit for depressed individuals who also suffer from IBS, which is a common subtype of individuals with IBS. We would like to see more research conducted with depressed individuals with IBS, where St. John's wort may be most effective."

On the other hand, he observed that the study does "reiterate the strong safety profile of St. John's wort," and stressed that the supplement continues, therefore, to be a safe choice for patients coping with mild-to-moderate depression.

More information

For more on irritable bowel syndrome, visit the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

SOURCES: Yuri A. Saito, M.D., M.P.H., consultant and assistant professor, medicine, Miles and Shirley Fiterman Center for Digestive Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Douglas MacKay, vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington, D.C.; January 2010, American Journal of Gastroenterology

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