If you suffer from Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), then you may have heard that taking Digestive Enzymes For SIBO can help. Unfortunately, Digestive Enzymes For SIBO can often backfire and may even make your condition worse. In this blog post, we’ll explain why you should not take Digestive Enzymes For SIBO and present some proven herbs that can help alleviate the symptoms of SIBO. We’ll back up these ingredients with clinical studies, so you can make an informed decision about which SIBO treatments are right for you.
What Is SIBO?
SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is a condition characterized by an abnormal increase in the overall bacterial population in the small intestine. This overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can cause a variety of digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea.
SIBO can be caused by surgery or disease that slows the passage of food and waste products in the digestive tract. When food and waste products sit in the digestive tract for an extended period of time, bacteria have a chance to flourish and overgrow in the small intestine.
SIBO can also develop due to risk factors such as diabetes, scleroderma, and prior intestinal surgery. These conditions can lead to impaired intestinal motility, creating an environment that allows bacteria to proliferate in the small intestine.
Complications of SIBO include poor absorption of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, vitamin deficiency, and diarrhea. When bacteria overgrow in the small intestine, they can interfere with the normal digestive process, leading to malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies. This can result in a host of health problems that require special diets or supplements for SIBO to improve nutrient absorption and overall health (1).
The Downside Of Relying On Digestive Enzymes For SIBO
While digestive enzymes can be helpful in treating SIBO, they come with their own set of potential risks and downsides. Firstly, they can interact with other medications you may be taking, leading to adverse effects. Additionally, taking digestive enzymes can cause digestive upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Moreover, using digestive enzymes can also reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics used to treat SIBO, which can make the condition worse. Lastly, digestive enzymes can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance, making it an unsustainable option for many (2).
Considering the potential risks and downsides, it’s essential to explore alternative treatment options that are safe, effective, and affordable. Herbs such as barberry, oregano, and garlic, as well as supplements like caprylic acid and BioPerine®, have shown to be effective in treating SIBO, and without the potential risks associated with digestive enzymes.
In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into these herbs and supplements and back them up with clinical studies to support their efficacy in treating SIBO.
Proven Herbs For Treating SIBO
According to a study conducted by a tertiary care referral gastroenterology practice, SIBO is prevalent in approximately 50% of patients with IBS symptoms. While the current state-of-the-art treatment for SIBO is a short course of antibiotics, research shows that herbal therapy may also be an effective treatment option for patients with SIBO.
In fact, the same study mentioned earlier found that the response rate for normalizing breath hydrogen testing in patients with SIBO was 46% for herbal therapies, compared to only 34% for Rifaximin, the antibiotic typically used to treat SIBO (3).
Patients with IBS are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) options for symptom relief and disease management, and a number of herbs have a long tradition of antimicrobial activity. Some of the most effective herbs for treating SIBO include barberry, oregano, garlic, caprylic acid, and BioPerine®.
It’s important to note, however, that while this study provides promising results, it is a retrospective chart review and not a prospective, randomized controlled trial. Additionally, herbal therapy may not be effective for all patients with SIBO and should be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider.
Barberry – the antibacterial herb that fights SIBO
Barberry is a lesser-known herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of digestive issues. It contains berberine, an alkaloid that gives it its yellow color and is responsible for its antibacterial properties. This makes it a great natural remedy for SIBO.
Studies have shown that barberry is effective against a variety of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. This is because berberine disrupts the bacterial cell wall, leading to their destruction. By reducing the bacterial overgrowth in the gut, barberry can help alleviate the symptoms of SIBO, such as bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
One study conducted on 196 patients with SIBO found that those who took barberry had a significant reduction in symptoms compared to those who received a placebo. This makes it a safe and natural alternative to antibiotics for treating SIBO (4).
Barberry can be consumed as a tea or taken as a supplement. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal supplements, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition. Overall, incorporating barberry into your SIBO treatment plan may be a smart move for those looking for a natural way to alleviate their symptoms.
Oregano – the powerful antimicrobial herb
Oregano is one of the most popular herbs used for cooking, but it is also a powerful antimicrobial herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. This herb is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a popular natural remedy for many health conditions, including SIBO (5).
Oregano oil, in particular, has been found to be effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses, making it a potent tool in the fight against SIBO. Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, two active compounds that have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. In one study, oregano oil was found to be more effective than antibiotics at killing the bacteria responsible for SIBO.
Not only is oregano effective at fighting bacterial overgrowth, but it also provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals that support overall health. Oregano is a good source of vitamin K, iron, and manganese, all of which play important roles in the body.
Incorporating oregano into your SIBO treatment plan is a simple and effective way to promote gut health and fight bacterial overgrowth. Try using oregano oil as a dietary supplement or add fresh or dried oregano to your meals for a delicious and natural boost of health benefits.
Garlic – the superfood that fights SIBO
Garlic has long been touted for its health benefits, and for good reason. This pungent bulb is packed with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds that make it a potent weapon in the fight against SIBO.
Garlic contains allicin, a compound that has been shown to be effective against a range of bacteria, including those associated with SIBO. In fact, studies have shown that garlic can help to reduce the growth of certain strains of bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus (6).
In addition to its antibacterial properties, garlic is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This is important for SIBO patients because inflammation in the gut can exacerbate symptoms and make the condition worse.
When it comes to SIBO treatment, garlic can be consumed raw, cooked, or in supplement form. However, raw garlic is believed to be the most potent because the allicin is destroyed by cooking.
If you’re not a fan of the taste of raw garlic, you can try incorporating it into your diet in other ways. For example, you could add it to your favorite dishes, or try making a garlic-infused oil or vinegar.
Overall, garlic is a superfood that is worth incorporating into your SIBO treatment plan. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective and natural way to fight the overgrowth of bacteria in the gut.
Caprylic Acid – a derivative of MCT oil that kills bacteria and fungus
Caprylic acid is a powerful natural antifungal and antibacterial compound that can help treat SIBO by eradicating harmful bacteria and fungus in the gut. It is a type of fatty acid that is commonly found in coconut oil and is often used in SIBO treatment protocols.
Caprylic acid works by breaking down the cell membranes of bacteria and fungus, which effectively kills them. It is also effective in reducing inflammation and healing gut lining damage caused by SIBO.
One of the benefits of caprylic acid is that it is well-tolerated by most people and has very few side effects. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to some of the prescription drugs used to treat SIBO.
Caprylic acid is often combined with other natural ingredients like oregano, garlic, and berberine to create a powerful SIBO-fighting blend. When taken in combination with BioPerine®, which enhances absorption, caprylic acid can be highly effective in treating SIBO.
Clinical studies have shown that caprylic acid is an effective treatment for Candida overgrowth, a common condition that is often associated with SIBO. It has also been shown to be effective against various types of harmful bacteria in the gut (7).
BioPerine® – for Absorption
While using the right herbs is crucial for treating SIBO, it’s just as important to ensure your body is absorbing their beneficial properties effectively. That’s where BioPerine® comes in.
BioPerine® is an extract of black pepper that contains Piperine, its active principle. Piperine is known to stimulate digestive enzymes, including amylase, lipase, and protease, which aid in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, respectively. This can improve overall digestion and reduce gastrointestinal food transit time, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.
But that’s not all. Piperine has also been shown to have antioxidant properties, protecting against oxidative damage by inhibiting or quenching free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Additionally, Piperine has been documented to enhance the bioavailability of a number of therapeutic drugs and phytochemicals, meaning it helps your body absorb other nutrients and supplements better (8).
Overall, incorporating BioPerine® into your SIBO treatment plan can help ensure that your body is able to effectively absorb the herbs and supplements that are fighting the SIBO overgrowth. It’s worth noting that while black pepper itself does contain Piperine, it’s typically not in high enough amounts to have a significant impact. This is why supplements specifically designed to contain BioPerine® are recommended.
Clinical Studies Supporting The Use Of These Herbs For SIBO Treatment
To evaluate the use of alternative therapies for SIBO treatment, data sources such as EMBASE, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register were systematically searched (9). Alternative interventions were defined as an intervention that included a probiotic supplement, herbal preparation, or a dietary change.
Eight studies met inclusion criteria, including four RCTs, two open-label single-arm studies, one randomized, double-blind crossover study, and one two-arm open-label study with crossover. However, there may be studies not captured by the defined search criteria.
The studies used different methodologies in both breath testing and measurement of clinical symptoms, making it difficult to draw conclusions on SIBO eradication and symptom improvement across studies. However, there is preliminary evidence for a role of alternative therapies in the treatment of SIBO.
Herbs such as barberry, oregano, and garlic have shown to be effective in treating SIBO. Barberry, a potent antibacterial herb, has been found to be effective in treating SIBO by reducing bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
Oregano, another powerful antimicrobial herb, has been found to be effective in treating SIBO in clinical studies. Garlic, known for its numerous health benefits, has also been found to have antibacterial properties that fight against SIBO.
In addition, caprylic acid, a derivative of MCT oil, has been shown to kill both bacteria and fungus that contribute to SIBO. BioPerine®, when paired with other herbs, helps with absorption, making it a useful addition to SIBO treatment.
Overall, while these studies suggest that alternative therapies can be effective in treating SIBO, large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the best way to utilize alternative therapies in the treatment of SIBO.
Does Approved Science® Have A SIBO Product?
Wish you could get your hands on a SIBO product containing oregano, garlic, barberry, caprylic acid and BioPerine®? Siboprin™ by Approved Science® is coming soon!