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A systematic review by Chinese authors has found that although acupuncture does not show superiority for treating IBS relative to sham controls, its advantage over Western biomedicine is significant. Analysing 41 RCTs involving 3440 participants, no significant difference was found when acupuncture was compared with sham acupuncture in terms of effects on IBS symptoms and quality of life. However, pooled efficacy rate data based on their meta-analysis did show a better outcome for true acupuncture (RR = 1.22). Acupuncture was found to be more effective relative to Western medicine in alleviating IBS symptoms (RR = 1.17), and this effect was found to last for at least three months.

Comparison between the Effects of Acupuncture Relative to Other Controls on Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis. Pain Res Manag. 2019 Nov 11;2019:2871505.