Effects of Alkaline-Reduced Drinking Water on Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the ingestion of alkaline-reduced water (ARW) is helpful in improving the symptoms of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Methods: Twenty-seven patients (male, 25.9%; mean, 41.7 years old) with diarrhea-predominant IBS were randomly allocated to two groups. For eight weeks, the ARW group (n = 13) ingested at least 2 liters/day of ARW, while the control group (n = 14) ingested placebo water. IBS symptom scores (quality-of-life, abdominal pain/discomfort), stool form, and frequency were assessed before and after treatment via questionnaires. Results: Eight patients (61.5%) in the ARW group and six patients (42.9%) in the control group indicated that their symptoms had improved in more than four out of the eight weeks of treatment (p = 0.449). The IBS quality-of-life score significantly improved from 57.2 to 30.8 in the ARW group; this improvement was significantly greater than the slight improvement from 48.7 to 42.2 observed in the control group (p = 0.029). The abdominal pain score improved from 1.8 to 0.9 in the ARW group and from 1.8 to 1.1 in the control group, with no significant group difference (p = 0.232). Conclusions: Drinking ARW for eight weeks improves the quality of life in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS.