What is SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)?

The human small intestine is home to a complex and diverse ecology of microorganisms. This delicate ecology can have serious health consequences if the density, diversity, or complexity of interactions between these organisms is altered. This dysbiosis can lead to a common and oftentimes missed disorder known as Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). 

SIBO is described as an increase in the number of pathogenic or “bad” bacteria that grow in the Small Intestine. In a healthy adult there are several defense mechanisms for preventing the overgrowth of “bad bacteria” such as immune cells, stomach acid, and bile salts, valves, and the movement of the intestine. 
Causes of SIBO are usually complex, associated with disorders of protective antibacterial mechanisms, anatomical abnormalities and/or motility disorders. In some patients more than one factor may be involved. 

Symptoms related to SIBO are bloating, diarrhoea, malabsorption, weight loss and malnutrition. The gold standard for diagnosing SIBO is still microbial investigation of jejunal aspirates. 

Non-invasive hydrogen and methane breath tests are most commonly used for the diagnosis of SIBO using glucose or lactulose. 
Therapy for SIBO must be complex, addressing all causes, symptoms and complications, and fully individualised. It should include treatment of the underlying disease, nutritional support and lifestyle change. 
Ingredients that are beneficial for SIBO:

  • Serum Derived- Numerous studies have demonstrated that oral administration of plasma- or serum-derived protein concentrates containing high levels of immunoglobulins can improve weight management, normalize gut barrier function, and reduce the severity of enteropathy in animals (Petschow, 2014).
  • IgG- Oral administration of bovine immunoglobulin (Ig)-containing protein preparations has been shown to improve weight gain1 and gut barrier function and permeability and to reduce the severity of enteropathy in animals (Petschow, 2014).
  • Bacillus coagulans- Has been found to decrease the amount of pathogenic microbiota and increase the amount of butyrate producing bacteria that enhance the integrity of the small intestine (Sasaki, 2020).
  • Bacillus clausii- For imparting these functions probiotics adhere to the mucosal membrane to interact with the host and have acidic, alkaline and oxidative stress resistance and stress adaptation proteins (Khatri, 2019).
  • Bacillus subtilis- B. subtilis cells attenuated biofilm formation by S. mutans, a pathogenic organism, during their dual growth in the presence of sugar alcohols (Duanis-Assaf, 2020).

SIBO OFF is a professional grade supplement from Privavite that includes these same ingredients to best help treat SIBO: serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin concentrate (ImmunoLin), Immunoglobulin G (IgG), bacillus coagulans, bacillus clausii, and bacillus subtilis.


Written by: Jaydee Robles, DACM, L.Ac