Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a gastrointestinal problem characterized by excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine, which can lead to various digestive symptoms. It is generally treated by antibiotics' therapy, but probiotics may be used as part of a comprehensive management plan for SIBO.
Here, we review the top brands of probiotics which may help alleviate SIBO symptoms. While conducting the list, we've carefully picked the products based on probiotic strains, CFU counts, price, brand reputation, and quality.
Best probiotics for SIBO: a shortlist
- Routine — best probiotics against SIBO for women
- Future Kind — best probiotics for small intestines
- Clear Wellness 360 — best probiotics for bacterial overgrowth
- Unbloat — best probiotics for overall digestive support
- Biotics 8 — best probiotics against SIBO for men
How did we choose the best probiotics for SIBO?
While compiling the list of the top 5 probiotics for SIBO, we assessed the following criteria:
|Multiple strains for different needs
|$0.50–$2.50 per serving
|Reputation and brand
|Trustworthy and reliable source
|Third-party tested and free of major allergens
- Strain diversity. Depending on the strain, certain probiotics may be good for SIBO, especially if they are known to fight bacterial overgrowth and support immunity. A more diverse probiotic strain formulation addressing a wide range of gut health issues may also further help with SIBO related gut concerns.
- CFU count. Higher CFU (colony-forming unit) counts may ensure the probiotic's effectiveness. Often, it is an indicator of a potent product, which may help ensure that enough probiotics reach the intestines.
- Price consideration. Preferable probiotics for SIBO should be reasonably priced without sacrificing quality. For this, we look at the price per serving and compare it with other brands.
- Reputation and brand. Probiotics from a reputable brand or provider are more tried and tested in terms of safety and performance.
- Quality. To ensure that probiotics are manufactured according to the highest quality standards, we reviewed probiotics that are manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and subjected to third-party testing. The best probiotic products are also free of major allergens.
Best probiotics for SIBO: an overview
Our gut hosts a rich population of well-balanced microorganisms that play a significant role in maintaining healthy gut function.
When the gut microbiota is dysfunctional, certain problems arise including gastrointestinal problems like SIBO. With probiotics' potential to regulate gut function, ameliorate symptoms of gut disorders, as well as regulate gut microbial balance, they may be included in managing SIBO development and related symptoms.
Here is a list of some of the best probiotics for SIBO available now in the market:
1. Routine — best probiotics against SIBO for women
Routine Probiotics for Her is a prebiotic-probiotic formulation marketed specifically for women.
With 24 billion CFU per capsule, Routine suggests that it may offer the beneficial effects associated with the ingredients to support gut health, vaginal health, stress and anxiety, immune system, and metabolism.
This product contains a probiotic blend of five microorganisms (Bifidobacterium lactis B420, Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Bifidobacterium lactis BI-04), a prebiotic from chicory root extract, as well as organic ashwagandha root extract. Other ingredients added include cellulose, ascorbic acid, and organic rice extract.
The brand's sustainable packaging is recyclable and comes with a refillable jar on the first order. Routine Probiotics for Her costs $39.95 for a 30-capsule bottle sufficient for a month. Bundles and subscriptions are also available for more savings. The manufacturer recommends taking one capsule per day.
2. Future Kind — best probiotics for small intestines
Future Kind Vegan Probiotics Digestion Supplement is a vegan probiotic supplement that contains 30 billion CFU per capsule.
Future Kind probiotics contain a blend of 10 different probiotic strains (DE111 Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium breve, and Lactobacillus plantarum). Other ingredients include DRcaps® capsules (vegetable cellulose, gellan gum, purified water), low-moisture rice dextrin, and medium-chain triglycerides.
According to the manufacturer's website, taking Future Kind Vegan Probiotics Digestion Supplement may promote intestinal health, metabolism, and digestion, support the immune system, and help protect the gut from pathogenic bacteria. However, these claims are for the general effects of probiotics and have not been approved by the FDA for this exact product.
A 30-capsule bottle costs $29.99 per month. You can also save 20% from subscription. The manufacturer recommends taking one capsule per day. Future Kind claims that although there are no known side effects from their product, they may differ from person to person.
3. Clear Wellness 360 — best probiotics for bacterial overgrowth
Clear Wellness 360's Clear Gut & Immunity probiotic supplement is marketed as a 5-in1 formulation of probiotics, prebiotics, and other ingredients. It contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, reishi mushroom, and slippery elm bark in a delayed-release veggie capsule.
Overall, Clear Wellness 360 suggests that this product may offer potential benefits in supporting the gut microbiome, improving energy levels, soothing bowel irritability, and supporting immune function. However, these claims have not been approved by the FDA for this exact product.
It is formulated to provide 20 billion CFUs per capsule and costs $27.30 for a bottle with 60 capsules. Bundles and subscriptions are available if you want to save more. The manufacturer recommends taking two capsules daily, with or without food.
4. Unbloat — best probiotics for overall digestive support
Unbloat Capsules is another pro-gut supplement that may help with bloating, gas, and digestive discomfort. It contains 7 probiotics, 2 prebiotic fibers, 21 digestive enzymes, 4 nutrients, and 6 herbal extracts. The seven probiotic strains included are Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
The following are the potential health benefits listed on the product website: enhancing digestion, preventing gas buildup, easing abdominal pressure and pain, supporting weight management, helping maintain regular menstruation, and supporting health and immunity. However, these claims are for the general effects of probiotics and have not been approved by the FDA for this exact product.
A 30-day supply with 60 capsules costs $59.95 on a one-time purchase. To save more, opt for bundled packs or a subscription. Each capsule includes 25 billion CFU. The manufacturer recommends taking two Unbloat pills per day, 30 minutes before or after a large meal.
5. Biotics 8 — best probiotics against SIBO for men
Biotics 8 Men’s High Performance Probiotic Formula is a prebiotic + probiotic supplement designed for men.
The supplement contains 10 probiotic strains (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacterium bifidum), prebiotic chicory root fibers, digestive enzymes, and vitamin D.
According to Biotics 8, it may help with gut microbiome balance, energy, bowel movement, immune system, mood, digestion, weight management, and attention, testosterone levels, sleep, bone, and skin. They also list that this product may also provide support against SIBO and IBS symptoms. However, these claims are for generally observed effects of probiotics and have not been approved by the FDA for this exact product.
Each capsule contains 20 billion CFUs. A 30-day supply, containing 90 capsules, costs $79.99. To save more, bundles and subscriptions are available. The company recommends taking one capsule on days 1–4, two capsules on days 5–9, and three capsules daily afterward to allow your gut to adjust, with a glass of water first thing in the morning.
Comparison of the best probiotics for SIBO
In addition to considering the product features, comparing and contrasting your options can help you choose the best probiotics to help with SIBO.
Here's a tabular summary comparison of the Routine, Future Kind, Clear Wellness, Unbloat, and Biotics 8:
|Price per serving
|Capsules in a bottle
|CFU per serving
|1 capsule a day
|Routine probiotics review
|1 capsule a day
|Clear Wellness 360
|2 capsule a day
|2 capsules a day
|3 capsules a day
|Biotics 8 review
What is SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)?
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a digestive disorder characterized by an abnormal increase of bacteria in the small intestine.
Normally, the small intestine has relatively low bacterial concentrations compared to the colon. However, in SIBO, bacteria from the colon migrate and proliferate in the small intestine. This overgrowth can disrupt the digestive process, impair nutrient absorption, and lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
SIBO is often managed with antibiotics, probiotics, or dietary changes, depending on the underlying cause or person's condition.
Main symptoms of SIBO
The symptoms of SIBO can range from mild to severe and often overlap with other gastrointestinal conditions, making diagnosis essential for effective management.
Here are the primary symptoms associated with SIBO:
- Abdominal bloating. SIBO can cause uncomfortable bloating shortly after eating, even with small meals. SIBO disrupts the normal contractions or motility of the small intestine. This can result in a sluggish or inefficient movement of food and gas through the digestive tract, contributing to bloating.
- Abdominal pain or discomfort. SIBO may lead to crampy, gnawing, or sharp abdominal pain, often concentrated around the navel or upper abdomen. One of the primary reasons for abdominal pain in SIBO is the excessive gas production by bacteria. Also, bacterial overgrowth can lead to inflammation of the intestine, further contributing to abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea. Frequent, loose, and watery stools can occur, sometimes alternating with constipation. Associated with diarrhea is excessive flatulence due to increased gas production by the bacteria in the small intestine.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can interfere with nutrient absorption, leading to deficiencies in vital vitamins (such as B12, A, D, and K) and minerals (like iron and calcium). If left untreated, this may potentially result in various health issues in the long term, including anemia and osteoporosis.
- Fatigue. Nutrient deficiencies and the overall strain on the body from dealing with SIBO can result in fatigue and a general feeling of weakness. Fatigue is often associated with episodes of nausea and vomiting.
Benefits and risks of using probiotics for SIBO
Probiotics are generally considered beneficial and safe for most people. However, some risks are associated with their use, especially in people with certain conditions like SIBO.
Probiotics may provide the following benefits of taking probiotics during SIBO:
- Microbial balance. Probiotics can help restore a healthier balance of bacteria in the gut, potentially reducing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria responsible for SIBO.
- Symptom relief. Some individuals with SIBO may experience symptom relief when using specific probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium, as they can help alleviate digestive discomfort like bloating and diarrhea.
- Improved nutrient absorption. Probiotics may enhance nutrient absorption, which can be compromised in individuals with SIBO due to bacterial interference. This can help address nutritional deficiencies.
- Improved immunity. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to a better immune function. Probiotics may promote your body's defenses against infections and illnesses.
- Supportive therapy. Probiotics can complement other common SIBO management options, such as antibiotics or dietary changes.
Probiotics may also have risks of taking them during SIBO:
- Aggravation of symptoms. Probiotics containing certain strains may potentially worsen SIBO symptoms in some individuals. It is crucial to choose the right probiotic strains under the guidance of a doctor.
- Individual differences. Probiotic effectiveness varies from person to person, and what works for one individual may not work for another. Personalized guidance is important.
- Inconsistent research. The scientific evidence on the efficacy of probiotics for SIBO is limited and inconclusive. More research is needed to establish their role definitively.
- Safety concerns. Probiotics are generally safe for most people, but individuals with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions should exercise caution and consult a doctor before using them.
- Dosage and duration. Determining the right dosage and duration of probiotic use for SIBO can be challenging. It is advisable to consult with a doctor for personalized recommendations.
How long should I take probiotics for SIBO?
Note that probiotics is not FDA-approved for the treatment of SIBO with no established efficacy data; hence, we suggest consulting with your doctor. The duration of probiotic use for support against SIBO may vary depending on individual circumstances and management plans.
It is crucial to work closely with a doctor who can assess your specific case. Probiotics are often used alongside SIBO medication as a complementary option usually taken for several weeks to months. Monitoring your symptoms and gut health improvements will help determine the appropriate duration.
When should I see a doctor?
You should consult a doctor if you experience persistent digestive symptoms like abdominal bloating, pain, diarrhea, nutritional deficiencies, and fatigue, as these could indicate SIBO.
Seeking medical evaluation is crucial to confirm the diagnosis, rule out other conditions, and receive tailored management. Early intervention can prevent complications, address nutritional deficiencies, and improve overall well-being. If you suspect SIBO or have ongoing digestive issues, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with a doctor for a comprehensive assessment and guidance.
Best probiotics for SIBO — conclusion
SIBO is usually treated with antibiotics to resolve the bacterial overgrowth. Probiotic supplements do not cure SIBO, but may be recommended to provide potential health benefits of good bacteria in the gut microbiome balance as well as in overall gut function.
Meanwhile, there are some caveats in taking probiotics for SIBO. Some people report that probiotics containing prebiotics may worsen SIBO symptoms because the fibers will feed the growing microbial population, both good and bad. Some arguments also note that the good bacteria from probiotics will replace the bacterial strains causing SIBO in the gut which may help in the resolution of the condition.
Generally, the best probiotics to provide support during SIBO management are those that contain specific strains that are known to restore the balance of the gut microbiota and resolve gut issues, but more factors need to be considered, so it is best to consult your doctor about adding probiotics if you have SIBO.
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What probiotics should you avoid with SIBO?
Some studies report that probiotics can be beneficial in managing SIBO and improving the effectiveness of antibiotics. However, some people can experience the opposite effect from taking probiotics such as gas and bloating. Not all probiotics are of equal efficacy in SIBO and should be discussed with a healthcare professional for personalized approach.
Are soil-based probiotics better for SIBO?
Soil-based probiotics may offer some advantages for SIBO since they have different mechanisms of action and might be less likely to exacerbate symptoms associated with SIBO. However, individual responses vary, and it is crucial to consult a doctor for personalized recommendations when considering probiotics for SIBO management.
Can probiotics worsen SIBO?
Probiotics may potentially worsen SIBO for some individuals, but may also help in some SIBO related symptoms. Certain probiotic strains may also exacerbate symptoms by introducing more non-beneficial bacteria into the small intestine. It is essential to consult a doctor to determine the most suitable approach for managing SIBO.
How long does it take to see results from probiotics for SIBO?
Probiotics may be recommended as a complementary option to SIBO medicines or antibiotics. The time it takes to see results from probiotics for SIBO may vary among individuals. Some people experience improvements within a few weeks, while others might take longer. It depends on the severity of SIBO, probiotics used, and individual factors.