Have you seen the claims that you can take herbal supplements for SlBO?
If you are reading this then you are likely suffering with the symptoms of SIBO (small bowel bacterial overgrowth) and wondering what is the best way to get rid of it.
You will also know that antibiotics is currently the most commonly used treatment right now. But if you could get a more natural remedy why not hey?
In this article I am going to review a new study looking at the use of herbal supplements to cure SIBO.
Table of Contents
What Is SIBO?
SIBO occurs when we get an overgrowth of bacteria in our small bowel. This often leads to similar symptoms to IBS.
You can read more about SIBO by clicking here.
You may have seen this study by Cheddid et al (2014) looking at the use of herbal supplements to treat SIBO.
In the study participants were given one of the below treatments for 4 weeks. They were then retested for SIBO.
- Dysbiocide and FC Cidal (herbal)
- Candibactin-AR and Candibactin-BR (herbal)
- Rifaxamin (antibiotics)
After the 4 weeks of therapy, 46% (17 people) of people who were given herbal supplements had a negative breath test for SIBO compared to 34% (26 people) of those who were given rifaximin.
14 people who still had SIBO positive testing after antibiotics were give herbal supplements. 8 of these then tested negative (57.1%).
This is very similar to the 60% of people who tested negative after being given further (but different) antibiotics.
Should You Take Herbal Supplements For SIBO?
Although it is nice to finally see research looking at the role of a herbal cure for SIBO, we need to be careful before coming to conclusions.
This study was not placebo controlled or blinded. This means, participants were aware of what they were taking and were able to choose their trial treatment.
Sadly, this can impact the result in any study.
Also, when we first look at the % in the data it looks good – 46% (herbal) vs 34% (antibiotics), but we need to look deeper.
This 46% only refers to 17 people which means that the study is likely too small to draw any real conclusions.
Bottom Line – Herbal Supplements For SIBO Fad or Useful?
So should you be trying the natural approach to your SIBO or not.
You may have even skipped the above and just gone straight to this summary!
As of yet we have no good research proving that herbal supplements cure SIBO.
Instead, the most widely researched treatment for SIBO remains to be antibiotics.
Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.