Gut microbiota in IBS patients modulated by moxibustion stimulation, according to research
07/19/2019 // Stephanie Diaz // Views

Researchers from the Shanghai University of Traditional Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine studied the efficacy of moxibustion treatment in curing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Their findings were published in the journal Chinese Medicine.

  • The researchers divided 65 male rats into six groups: normal, IBS model, moxibustion, electroacupuncture (EA), bifid-triple viable capsule (BTVC) and pinaverium bromide (PB) groups.
  • The moxibustion group was given mild moxibustion at the bilateral Tianshu (ST25) and Shangjuxu (ST37). They were treated for 10 minutes every day for seven days.
  • The EA group received ST25 and ST37 treatments once per day during the same period.
  • BTVC group and PB groups were given a Bifid-triple Viable Capsule and Pinaverium Bromide solution (at the proportion of 1:0.018. They were treatment was done by gavage once a day for seven days.
  • After the seven days, the researchers determined abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) scores. These scores were based on colorectal distention (CRD) stimulus.
  • The researchers also did a gut microbiota profiling through 6S rRNA high-throughput sequencing.
  • Results showed that rats from the IBS model group have higher AWR scores at all intensities (20, 40, 60, and 80 millimeters of mercury) compared to the control group and the moxibustion group.
  • The result of the profiling analysis indicates that there is a significant amount of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes in the gut. Researchers also found that there are Proteobacteria and Candidatus Saccharibacteria in the intestinal tract.
  • Compared to normal rats, the IBS model rats have an abundance of Prevotella, Bacteroides and Clostridium XI, and lower numbers of Lactobacillus and Clostridium XIVa at a genus level.
  • The results of their study suggest that moxibustion treatment could revert gut microbiota into their original profile.

The researchers concluded that moxibustion is an effective treatment for managing intestinal microbiota.

For more studies about moxibustion and other forms of heat therapy, visit

Read the full study at this link.

Journal reference:

Wang X, Qi Q, Wang Y, Wu H, Jin X, Yao H, Jin D, Liu Y, Wang C. GUT MICROBIOTA WAS MODULATED BY MOXIBUSTION STIMULATION IN RATS WITH IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME. Chinese Medicine. December 2018;13(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13020-018-0220-y

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