Natural Remedies For IBS
Probiotic Medication For IBS

Is Tu Zen the best of the natural remedies for IBS available? A friend of mine has recently started taking a probiotic medication for IBS called Tu-Zen and she tells me that it is the most effective that she has tried.

Kate hasn't had to take a single day of work since starting on Tu Zen (she normally has 1 or 2 days a month off) and has even tested herself on foods that used to trigger the IBS - nothing. She has been on it for almost 2 months and still swears by it. Controlling IBS can be a real problem for many people so if this natural remedy can manage IBS effectively for at least some of these folk that has to be good news.

ibs medication

Tu Zen is available on US Amazon. TuZen Probiotic is at a cost of around $35 US. It is fairly new to Amazon and does not have a lot of reviews yet but it has been very well received on the specialist forums. It contains 10 billion cfu of Lp299v which is the amount and strain that was used in the successful trials.

This is such an important point - that your supplement actually gives you the dose that has been used in trials and not some "token" amount. Tu Zen does.

In Canada it is available over the counter at a cost of $36.99 for 30 pills - most people take 1 or 2 tablets a day. It is manufactured by Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

A reader tells me she bought Tu Zen at Janzen's Pharmacy in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and that it is also available at Shopper's Drug Mart.

This is an on line Canadian source of Tu Zen.

And here is where UK residents can buy it.

For people who live in countries where Tu-Zen is not yet available, the "magic" ingredient in this natural remedy for IBS is Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. Remember that there are many strains of Lactobacillus plantarum and that it the 299v part of the name that is important if you are looking at natural remedies for IBS treatment.

As an update to this page, I've found a few more natural remedies for IBS in other parts of the world that contain 299v and that may give IBS relief.

An organic fruit juice named GoodBelly was launched in the US in 2007 which contains Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. As well, Metagenics make supplements (Probex and LactoFlamX) which also contain the correct strain of L plantarum. ProViva is a fruit juice fortified with an oatmeal gruel that also contains the right stain and this natural remedy for IBS is well known in Europe where a number of trials on Lactobacillus plantarum 299v have used ProViva.

L plantarum strains in general (not specifically the 299v strain) are found naturally in some fermented dairy and meat products and in MANY fermented vegetable products such as sauerkraut, kimchi and Nigerian fermented foods such as nono, ogi and fufu.

It is a natural inhabitant of the human gastrointestinal tract.


Lactobacillus plantarum 299v

L plantarum 299v has been shown to increase the concentration of carboxylic acids in faeces (which is a good thing) and decrease the amount of flatulence (which is also a good thing!) when healthy volunteers took ProViva.1

One study (again using the ProViva drink) showed a decrease in abdominal bloating and pain. Even 12 months later, the participants in the trial experienced a "better overall gastrointestinal function than the patients of the placebo group".2

In test tube studies, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v has revealed anti-microbial activity against strains of potentially pathogenic species as Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae and Enterococcus faecalis.3

L plantarum 299v is showing up in more and more natural remedies for IBS.


REFERENCES - Natural Remedies for IBS

1. Johansson M-L., Nobaek S., Berggren A., Nyman M., Björck I., Ahrné S., Jeppsson B., Molin G. (1998). Survival of Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843 (299v), and effect on the short-chain fatty acid content in faeces after ingestion of a rose-hip drink with fermented oats. International Journal of Food Microbiology 42:29-38.

2. Nobaek S., Johansson M-L., Molin G., Ahrné S. Jeppsson B. (2000). Alternation of intestinal microflora is associated with reduction in abdominal bloating and pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Gastroenterology 95:1231-1238.

3. Jacobsen, C.N., Rosenfeldt Nielsen, V., Hayford, A.E., Møller, P.L., Michaelsen, K.F., Pœrregaard, A., Sandström, B., Tvede, M. and Jakobsen, M. (1999). Screening of probiotic activities of forty-seven strains of Lactobacillus spp. by in vitro techniques and evaluation of the colonization ability of five selected strains in humans. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65: 4949-5956.