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Garlic, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, & SIBO

Dear Friends

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is considered to be part of the larger condition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

IBS is known as a chronic, episodic, functional gastrointestinal disorder, characterized by abdominal pain/discomfort and altered bowel habit (constipation, diarrhea or alternating periods of both). It is estimated to affect 10-15% of Western populations, one in seven Americans suffer with this condition (Hungin, 2005).

320 subjects enrolled who were diagnosed with IBS according to the Rome II criteria.  SIBO was found in 37.5% of IBS sufferers.  Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most common isolates found in patients with SIBO (Joankers, 1999).

Pylorus et al. (2012) found that the pathogenic Escherichia coli, Enteroccus spp. and Klebsiella were the most common isolate found in SIBO patients.  Very dangerous and potentially deadly pathogens—especially VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enteroccoci).  And, researchers have found that garlic inhibits the growth of all three (Lawson, 2010).

Garlic is an amazing broad-spectrum antimicrobial.  Its magic bullets are in its secondary metabolites—its thiosulphanates of which allicin comprises about 70 to 80% and is the most potent (Block, 2010).

Add Garlic:


  • Block, Eric (2010). Garlic and other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. Publisher: The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge UK.
  • Hungin et al (2005). Irritable bowel syndrome in the United States: prevalence, symptoms patterns and impact. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics; 21(11): 1365-1375.
  • Jonkers et al. (1997).  Effect of Garlic on Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; 43(12): 30-45.
  • Lawson LD & Koch HP. (1996). Garlic:  The Science and Therapeutic Application of Allium sativum L. and Related Species. Publisher: Williams and Wilkins.
  • Pyleris et al. (2012). The Prevalence of Overgrowth by Aerobic Bacteria in the Small Intestine by Small Bowel Culture: Relationship with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Digestive Diseases and Sciences; 57(5): 1321-1329.
  • Siebecker A, Sandberg-Lewis S. (2013). Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth: Often-Ignored Cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Townsend Letter; Feb/Mar 2013.
  • Soifer LO, Peralta D, Dima G, Besasso H. (2010). Comparative clinical efficacy of a probiotic vs. an antibiotic in the treatment of patients with intestinal bacterial overgrowth and chronic abdominal functional distension: a pilot study. Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam; 40(4): 323–7.


Sincerely yours,


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