The Ins and Outs of SIBO
SIBO—Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth—can be a serious and uncomfortable issue. It occurs when the wrong bacteria or too many bacteria find their way into places they shouldn’t be, such as the small intestine, and starts to proliferate. Symptoms include digestive pain and discomfort, constipation, diarrhea and nutrient deficiencies as well as a slew of other health issues.
Under optimal conditions, your small bowel is responsible for digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It is also instrumental in immune function, being that it is the home of lymphoid cells, which are front line soldiers in fighting infection and keeping your immune system healthy.
Here’s an interesting bit of truth—our good bacteria ARE our immune system. These bacteria play a vital role in warding off pathogens, help us absorb nutrients from our food and even are factory workers responsible for the production of such vitamins as folate and vitamin K.
Enter SIBO. Now, there’s a problem. This bacteria overgrowth can impact the structure and function of the small bowel, impacting the gut mucosa and interfering with digestion.
SIBO is intricately linked to Leaky Gut Syndrome. When the gut mucosa is impaired by SIBO, leaky gut may occur. Junctures/tears in the mucosal lining allow undigested particles to leak through the gut wall into the bloodstream, resulting in chronic inflammation. This can lead to the immune system going haywire, food allergies and sensitivities and a domino effect of autoimmune diseases and other serious chronic illnesses.
SIBO is also linked to Crohn’s disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, HIV and Parkinson’s Disease. Medications that slow gut transit time, such as pain-killers and SSRIs may also contribute to SIBO. Prior bowel surgery, low stomach acid, medications to treat heartburn (PPIs) multiple rounds of antibiotics and moderate alcohol consumption are also risk factors.
Alcohol, in fact, can affect SIBO in multiple ways. It can damage the gut mucosal lining, leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome and may impair the muscular contraction of the digestive tract responsible for optimal gut transit time. Alcohol can also feed bad bacteria and least, leading to an overgrowth.
SIBO can be managed naturally. It is recommended that those who have SIBO follow a FODMAP diet, which is an elimination diet. Sometimes, only eliminating sugars does the trick. It’s important for most, however, to eliminate difficult-to-digest carbohydrates that can ferment in the intestines, causing symptoms and inflammation.
Certain dietary supplements are also important at managing SIBO. Since SIBO also involves reducing inflammation and repairing the gut mucosal lining as well as balancing the gut microflora, various herbs such as licorice root (with glycyrrhizin removed ) and arabinogalactan may be utilized. Saccharomyces boulardii, a beneficial yeast, can also help restore balance and ward off candida overgrowth, which can accompany SIBO.
Our Leaky Gut Defense includes specialized ingredients for improved gastrointestinal support. Included is concentrated extract of licorice that has been processed to remove glycyrrhizin (reducing risk of side effects accompanying licorice). Glutamine serves as the key nitrogen source for the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Arabinogalactan from the North American larch tree is a naturally occurring polysaccharide - delivering optimal support for GI health. Research shows that Arabinogalactan may assist role in the creation of gut microflora and may increase valuable short-chain fatty acid production.
Our Saccharomyces 10B delivers a minimum 10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of Saccharomyces boulardii per daily serving to promote optimal gastrointestinal health. Research has confirmed the unique Saccharomyces boulardii strain DBVPG 6763 survives stomach acid to colonize in the intestinal tract while acting as a temporary flora to protect the beneficial organisms of the intestine. Additionally, it works with the body to re-establish the microflora, thereby helping to maintain and support healthy immunity, digestion and gut health.
Saccharomyces boulardii helps fight off pathogenic strains of bacteria and reduce inflammation. It’s important to remember that as a beneficial yeast, it is transient and does not colonize in the gut. This is why many with SIBO may need to take Saccharomyces boulardii coupled with a probiotic.
Probiotics are not a one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for another. If you have SIBO, however, be sure to read labels carefully and choose probiotics that are free from fillers (lactose, starches, soy), flow agents, colorings, additives and preservatives and junk that may interfere with absorption and cause further gut issues.
It is always best to start a probiotic supplement regimen “low and slow” and one supplement at a time. All of our capsuled products may be opened and ¼ to ½ of the contents dumped into juice or a smoothie and taken that way. This allows for an easy way to slowly introduce a product to your body while reducing any detoxification side effects.
For managing SIBO, beginning with our Leaky Gut Defense along with dietary changes (going “low and slow”) and then adding the Saccharomyces 10B (low and slow), followed by long-term use of a probiotic that takes residence in the gut, such as our Power Probiotics, has demonstrated successful outcomes with many of our customers.
Our Power Probiotic Daily provides four researched strains of useful bacteria, including the extensively studied HN019 strain of Bifidobacterium lactis. These live microorganisms have proven health benefits and well-established safety, and have been tested for epithelial cell adhesion and/or resistance to low pH. These strains have demonstrated to increase gut transit time and help support optimal immune function.