About Kijimea IBS

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Published on: May 9, 2017

Called a prescription-free medical food by the manufacturer, Kijimea IBS is a clinically proven dietary supplement that promises to help manage irritable bowel syndrome symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, and bloating—and even to improve quality of life.

Originally of German origin, Kijimea is produced in Italy using the bacteria strain B. bifidum MIMBb75, which we’re told is the only one in the world clinically proven to reduce IBS symptoms. It contains no preservatives, sweeteners, or flavoring agents.

The supplement's website indicates that you'll need to take two capsules once per day, preferably at mealtime with enough water, for at least four consecutive weeks.

There’s little doubt that reducing your IBS symptoms could have a big improvement in your overall quality of life. But is this what you might expect from Kijimea? And has it been clinically proven?

Let’s start by taking a look at the basics.

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition (one that’s persistent or long-lasting) that causes side effects like gas, bloating, constipation, cramping, and abdominal pain.

While it’s unknown exactly what causes IBS, the Mayo Clinic tells us there can be a variety of factors, including stronger or weaker contractions of the muscles that line the intestines. Poor gastrointestinal nervous system signals may also play a significant role.

However, the Mayo Clinic goes on to point out that certain foods, periods of increased stress, hormonal changes (especially in women), and even high levels of bacteria can trigger IBS symptoms. This is why, when speaking with your doctor, they’ll recommend monitoring these factors to help manage symptoms.

What about the ingredients in Kijimea IBS? We’ll talk about that in just a second, but let’s first take a look a what a medical food is.

Does Kijimea Qualify as a Medical Food?

According to the FDA, a medical food is defined as:

“A food which is formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation."

While this term isn’t commonly used to describe probiotics, we came across a 2008 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases pointing out that it all depends on intended use. So, in this context and based on what we learned from third-party sites, it appears that Kijimea IBS does qualify as a medical food.

Now, what about those ingredients?

Are Kijimea IBS’ Ingredients Clinically Effective For Addressing IBS?

In a nutshell, probiotics are supplements that contain different strains of beneficial bacteria that have been clinically shown to provide a variety of potential health benefits, including:

  • Improved immune function (most of your immune system is located in your gut),
  • Boosted digestion,
  • Reduced dishrag,
  • Relieved constipation, and
  • Managed inflammatory bowel disease.

Regarding Kijimea, the only ingredient it contains is 15 billion CFU (colony-forming units) of the patented B. bifidum MIMBb75 strain, which is owned by Naturwohl Pharma GmbH.

The strain was invented by Simone Guglielmetti and Diego Mora, both of whom are listed as authors of a 2011 study that tested the strain among 122 IBS patients over the course of four weeks. This study—also frequently referenced on the Kijimea website—concluded:

“Bifidobacterium bifidum MIMBb75 effectively alleviates global IBS and improves IBS symptoms simultaneously with an improvement of quality of life. Considering the high efficacy of MIMBb75 in IBS along with the good side-effect profile, MIMBb75 is a promising candidate for IBS therapy.”

We also found a total of 10 related trials listed on the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed. However, only the 2011 study mentioned above directly related to irritable bowel syndrome.

Are There Any Potential Kijimea Side Effects?

While the website indicates that Kijimea should only be used under medical supervision and isn’t suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, they state that it “does not have any known side effects and has no known interactions with other products.”

Regarding allergies, Kijimea doesn’t contain lactose, gluten, egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, soy, or wheat.

With this said, side effects for probiotics, in general, are typically mild and often pass within a few days, once your gut bacteria have an opportunity to rebalance. These include mild gassiness, bloating, and distention.

Kijimea IBS’ Price: Where to Buy?

From a retail perspective, the supplement’s website tells us that Kijimea is only available over the pharmacist’s counter at CVS or Walgreen's. However, we also found it sold on Amazon for the following prices:

  • 14 Capsules: $19.90
  • 56 Capsules: $49.90

While your refund policy will depend on where it’s purchased, Kijimea’s customer service department can be reached at 917-732-2235 or contact@kijimea.com.

Are Kijimea’s customers reporting beneficial results for their money?

Are There Any Online Customer Reviews For Kijimea IBS?

On Amazon, Kijimea’s 14- and- 56-count packages had combined average ratings of about 3.7 stars, with common compliments citing reduced IBS symptoms (many even claimed it’s the only thing that worked). On the other hand, the most common complaints we read seemed related to no results and high price.

From a company perspective, Kijimea Inc. is based out of Toronto, Ontario and was founded by Clemens Fischer.

Previously, Clemens earned his doctorate in medicine and an MBA from Harvard University. According to his bio on the Kijimea website, he’s founded numerous companies, some of which were sold to pharmaceutical companies like Novartis, Dermapharm, and Perrigo.

Clemens’ experience aside, are there any other products like Kijimea IBS?

Kijimea vs. Other IBS Probiotic Supplements

It’s certainly positive that the B. bifidum MIMBb75 strain has one clinical study showing that it can help address IBS symptoms. WebMD indicates that other probiotics—especially those containing the Bifidobacterium infantis strain—may also help alleviate IBS symptoms.

Interviewed for the article, Lawrence Schiller, MD, a gastroenterologist in Dallas, emphasizes:

"The chances of going to the store and finding something viable and effective is very much a long shot," he says. "The best evidence for probiotics is with some of the combination products and some that contain bifida bacteria, not acidophilus or lactobilli."

According to MSN Lifestyle, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 may also help address your symptoms, especially if you experience diarrhea or mixed symptoms with your IBS.

Pro tip: ConsumerLab recommends that any probiotic you’re considering contain at least one billion colony-forming units. However, they don’t indicate that you’ll necessarily experience better or more pronounced results from a higher CFU count, such as Kijimea’s 15 billion.

We’ve covered a lot of territory in a relatively short amount of space in this article, so let’s go ahead and come to a conclusion about Kijimea IBS.

Our Final Thoughts About Kijimea IBS

We think it’s positive that the B. bifidum MIMBb75 strain in Kijimea IBS has one clinical study indicating it might be especially effective addressing irritable bowel syndrome. However, it’s important to emphasize that it can take dozens—sometimes hundreds or thousands—of studies to classify something as “proven.”

Regardless, if you’re trying to manage your IBS symptoms, the first person you should speak with is your physician, who can formulate a treatment plan based on your specific diagnosis. Obviously, this may or may not involve products like Kijimea IBS.

Speaking of which, there appear to other probiotic strains like Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 that might also be able to provide relief.

If you’re not satisfied with Kijimea’s performance and purchase through Amazon, though, you’ll have 30 days to return for a refund.

Other than speaking with your doctor, are you wondering what steps you should take next? Be sure to read A Guide to Buying Quality Probiotics.

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1 Customer Review for Kijimea IBS

Average Customer Rating: 1.0
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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Does not work for me!

    After seeing an article in my local newspaper, I purchased Kijimea through my local Walgreens, mainly to relieve the flatulence. I have been to several gastroenterologists, with no relief. No trigger foods were evident.

    The effects for me were almost devastating. The first day, I awoke with a sick feeling and noticed that my left arm and hand were flushed, but not swollen though. My bowel movements were loose and constant, with no relief from the bloating and flatulence. The second day, the upset stomach, bloating and flatulence continued, plus a feeling of acute anxiety, and I had shaking of my hands The third day, I felt really sick, and all of the symptoms continued along with dizziness and difficulty walking or driving properly.

    I discontinued use, and within two days, am back to normal.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 14, 2017

      Ian

      It's clinically proven in 2011, done on 122 patients who reported an improvement. Of course, they will never conduct a proper clinical trial with tens of thousands of people in a double blind test and a control group, to see if it really works. That would be too expensive, and if you can sell your product with bullshit advertising, why bother in any case? A proper study may prove it useless, and that is not what they want to know.

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