Aniseed for improving COVID-19-related gastrointestinal symptoms? Original paper

In this randomized controlled trial, supplementing with aniseed powder seemed to improve gastrointestinal symptoms in participants with COVID-19.

This Study Summary was published on March 22, 2024.

Quick Summary

In this randomized controlled trial, supplementing with aniseed powder seemed to improve gastrointestinal symptoms in participants with COVID-19.

What was studied?

Whether supplementing with aniseed improves gastrointestinal symptoms in participants with COVID-19.

An improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms was defined as a decrease of at least 1 point for any of the following symptoms, which were scored on a scale of 1 to 4: abdominal pain, anorexia, nausea and vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea.

Who was studied?

225 adults with COVID-19 (average age of 43; 60% women, 40% men) who did not require hospitalization and reported at least 1 gastrointestinal symptom 48 hours before starting the study intervention.

How was it studied?

In this 2-week randomized controlled trial, the participants were assigned to take 25 grams of aniseed powder or placebo twice per day as an add-on to standard treatment. General recommendations for fluid intake, rest, nutrition, psychological support, and home oxygen therapy were provided to all of the participants.

What were the results?

Compared to the placebo group, the participants in the aniseed group were more likely to report an improvement in abdominal pain, anorexia, and diarrhea.

Anything else I need to know?

This study had a few limitations, which limits confidence in the findings: (i) due to reported financial limitations, only 45 participants received aniseed powder; (ii) average nausea and vomiting and bloating scores were worse in the aniseed group than the placebo group at baseline; (iii) dietary intake during the study was not assessed; and (iv) the researchers did not adjust for multiple comparisons, which increases the risk of false-positive results.

This Study Summary was published on March 22, 2024.