As recently discussed, the use of zinc carnosine has proven results in terms of helping to promote intestinal repair (Mahood et al, 2007). Another biological agent used to help with IBS symptoms is peppermint, something we do not regularly associate with medical practice. Peppermint is rich in menthol, a smooth muscle relaxant that is proposed to reduce the amount of cramping and pain that accompanies IBS. In a review of 16 clinical trials by Grigoleit and Grigoleit (2005) into its use with IBS sufferers, an average response rate of 58% with peppermint compared to a 29% response rates from a placebo was apparent in relieving painful cramps associated with IBS.
This review provides evidence that peppermint can have pain-relieving benefits for IBS sufferers. However this may only mask symptoms, so the use of peppermint could be used for pain relief whilst other supplements used to directly treat IBS.