There are a few intestinal adsorbents that you can buy over-the-counter such as Enterosgel and Silicolgel. They claim to help with digestive problems.
But are they any good for IBS symptoms specifically?
This article will discuss specifically what Enterosgel is, how it works and if you should take it for your IBS.
Please note that we have no affiliation with Enterosgel.
What is Enterosgel?
Enterosgel is an over-the-counter intestinal absorbent. It is a gel substance that binds to toxins in your gut, transporting them out with your stool (1).
It is composed of the organic mineral polymethylsiloxane polyhydrate (PMSPH). This makes Enterosgel porous, enabling it to trap bacterial products and their toxins.
Does Enterosgel help IBS?
There are 2 research studies showing that Enterosgel can be useful for people with IBS-diarrhoea dominant.
In a study which included 86 people, 72% of participants had their diarrhoea resolved within 36 hours after using Enterosgel (2).
The study was a randomised controlled trial, meaning there was a limited risk of a ‘placebo’ effect. However, it was only tried for 8 days, so the long-term effects are unknown.
A more recent 8-week study, has shown that Enterosgel is safe and effective for people with IBS-D (3). It was completed by 440 participants with IBS-D.
15g two times a day of Enterosgel was used for the first 5 days. Then it was increased up to 30g three times per day. After 8 weeks in the Enterosgel group, there were significant improvements in:
- Stool consistency
- Abdominal pain
- Quality of life
Although the research looks promising, it is important to note that it was funded by the manufacturer, which can make it prone to ‘funding bias’.
This refers to when the study’s results are more likely to support the interests of the company funding the study.
How do you take Enterosgel?
Enterosgel is a tasteless gel that you swallow. It is available as an oral suspension in a tube or sachets. It is mixed with water forming a slightly opaque liquid (4).
The manufacturer recommends mixing a dose (15g – 22.5g for those aged 15+) of Enterosgel (depending on the age and indication) in a glass of water.
It should be taken 2 hours before or after a meal or medications (5).
Rare possible side effects of Entersogel are constipation or nausea.
However, the manufacturer reports that this can also be due to the underlying condition, e.g. IBS, stomach, or vomiting bugs (6).
Always ask your doctor for advice before using any supplements.
Enterosgel is a non-drug-based supplement designed to soak up toxins from your gut. It has been shown to be beneficial for those with diarrhea.
Enterosgell may improve your stool consistency, bloating, abdominal pain, urgency and quality of life. However, the long-term effects are still unknown.
Remember, IBS is complicated, so please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before taking any supplements.
Updated 2023 by Leeona Lam MSc, ANutr reviewed by Kirsten Jackson Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.
Leave a Reply