Probiotics Cause SIBO - Dominick Hussey

Do Probiotics Cause SIBO?

Do you live in Ottawa and wonder whether probiotics cause SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth?

If so, you are in the right place.

Today, I will talk about what the science says about whether probiotics cause SIBO.

Let’s jump in and see what the science says.

What The Science Says

Most scientific evidence says that probiotics do not cause or worsen SIBO.

However, there have been a couple of studies that have come to the opposite conclusion.

Some have cited these studies to support their advice or think they cause SIBO.

But when you look closely, the findings from the studies are not congruent with the conclusions.

One such study is entitled “Effect of Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Align) on the Lactulose Breath Test for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

In this study, the researchers gave 19 people a probiotic. After some weeks, the researchers gave the subjects a lactulose breath test. The researchers found 3 of 19 participants had a positive breath test for SIBO. Hence, the researcher concludes that probiotics cause SIBO.

However, it is essential to put these findings in the proper context.

Firstly a critical part of the results we need to be mindful of is that the three people experienced no significant increase in their symptoms. In other words, despite the positive lab test, the people did not feel worse.

Secondly, we need to be mindful of how probiotics work. The majority do not colonize the gut. They are mainly transient, working through the intestines before dying off or coming out the other end. A short build-up can cause a positive SIBO breath test.

So, when considering the context of the results, the evidence that probiotics cause or worsen SIBO is poor.

Overall, the vast bulk of research shows that they help SIBO.

Probiotics can help eradicate other harmful bacteria, reduce fungal overgrowth and help reduce leaky gut.

More importantly, they have been shown to help minimize digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and gas.

There is also additional evidence that probiotics can improve mood and skin disorders.

Do Probiotics Cause SIBO?

Based on current evidence, the answer is no.

A small number of people may have an adverse reaction.

If that is the case for you, continue and possibly try a different type of probiotic.

What Do You Think?

Do you have more questions about the SIBO and probiotics?

Has taking probiotics made your SIBO worse?

Either way, leave a comment below.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help treating SIBO, I suggest you book a free functional medicine discovery session with me, in person or via video, to see whether my functional medicine approach fits your needs.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply this information without first speaking with your doctor.

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