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Primary care
Small intestine-release peppermint oil is beneficial in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
  1. Igho Onakpoya
  1. Department of Continuing Education, Wellington Square, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Igho Onakpoya, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, Oxfordshire, UK; igho.onakpoya{at}

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Evidence from systematic reviews has suggested that peppermint oil is an effective agent for the management of irritable bowel syndrome; however, results of a recent trial show that the type of formulation can affect the extent of benefits.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional disorder that is thought to affect up to 20% of the general population.1 Its symptoms primarily include abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Management includes changes to diet and lifestyle and the use of medications. The results of published systematic reviews have suggested that peppermint oil is effective for the treatment of IBS symptoms,2–4 and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends its use as an …

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  • Contributors IO the sole author of this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests IO is deputy editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.