UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Efficacy of an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet in the Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth : A Narrative Review Wielgosz-Grochowska, Justyna Paulina; Domanski, Nicole; Drywień, Małgorzata Ewa


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is highly prevalent in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The eradication of bacterial overgrowth with antibiotics is the first-line treatment. However, focusing only on the antimicrobial effects without taking care to improve lifestyle factors, especially dietary patterns, may predispose patients to intestinal microbiota dysfunction. The objective of this study is to determine whether the current recommendations regarding nutrition in IBS are suitable for patients with SIBO. A narrative literature review was carried out using databases, including PubMed, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar. Recent studies indicate that dietary manipulation may have a role in alleviating SIBO gastrointestinal symptoms. A low FODMAP diet proposed for IBS may promote a negative shift in the gut microbiota and deepen the existing state of dysbiosis in SIBO patients. Supplementation with soluble fiber can lessen the symptoms in IBS and SIBO. Targeted probiotic therapy may also increase the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment and regulate bowel movements. Therefore, optimal dietary patterns play a key role in the treatment of SIBO. Based on currently available literature, the potential efficacy of the IBS diet in SIBO is largely hypothetical. Future research is needed to characterize a specific diet for the treatment of SIBO.

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