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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 4071260, 15 pages
Review Article

Efficacy of Chinese Herbal Medicine for Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials

1Beijing Key Laboratory of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Diagnosis and Treatment of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wangjing Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100102, China
2Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China
3Basic Medical College, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
4Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115-2214, USA

Received 27 February 2016; Accepted 9 June 2016

Academic Editor: Jiande D. Z. Chen

Copyright © 2016 Jia-Jie Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To explore the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in treating diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (D-IBS). Methods. Four English and four Chinese databases were searched through November, 2015. Randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trials were selected. Data extraction and quality evaluation were performed by two authors independently. RevMan 5.2.0 software was applied to analyze the data of included trials. Results. A total of 14 trials involving 1551 patients were included. Meta-analysis demonstrated superior global symptom improvement (RR = 1.62; 95% CI 1.31, 2.00; ; number needed to treat = 3.6), abdominal pain improvement (RR = 1.95; 95% CI 1.61, 2.35; ), diarrhea improvement (RR = 1.87; 95% CI 1.60, 2.20; ), pain threshold assessment (MD = 54.53; 95% CI 38.76, 70.30; ), and lower IBS Symptom Severity Score (SMD = −1.01; 95% CI −1.72, −0.30; ), when compared with placebo, while for defecation threshold assessment, quality of life, and adverse events, no differences were found between treatment groups and controlled groups. Conclusion. This meta-analysis shows that Chinese herbal medicine is an effective and safe treatment for D-IBS. However, due to the small sample size and high heterogeneity, further studies are required.