The two primary supplements that I used to overcome my SIBO symptoms were ox bile on an empty stomach and sunflower lecithin for antimicrobial bile flow support.
After years of experiencing symptoms of SIBO, such as acid reflux, loose stools, a noisy growling stomach, and tenderness when palpating my upper abdomen, I finally pinpointed SIBO as the cause of my digestive symptoms.
The root cause of my SIBO was a sluggish gallbladder.
While I never got officially tested for SIBO, I identified SIBO as the underlying problem due to fermentable carbohydrates such as potato, banana, and corn chips causing my symptom of acid reflux.
I owe a huge thanks to Dr. Ben Lynch for educating on the link between a sluggish gallbladder and a fatty liver causing low bile flow and thus, symptoms of SIBO. But what is the connection between low bile flow, SIBO, and acid reflux?
The importance of bile for preventing SIBO
Bile is antimicrobial, and it is the antimicrobial properties of bile that prevent bacteria from overgrowing in the small intestine, which is what happens in the case of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This information is priceless, as it is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned.
So many people with SIBO are using massive amounts of antimicrobials yet are not focusing on improving their natural defenses, and I was too until I learned about using sunflower lecithin to improve bile flow. I had already used antimicrobials in the past, and my symptoms still lingered, so I knew something was missing from my protocol.
How I used sunflower lecithin for bile flow support and knocking down SIBO
Sunflower lecithin contains phosphatidylcholine, which helps to prevent fatty liver and keep bile thin and flowing from a sluggish gallbladder. When sufficient bile flows from the gallbladder, the antimicrobial properties of bile can knock down small intestinal bacterial overgrowth while also preventing SIBO from developing in the first place.
Within days of taking 1 capsule of sunflower lecithin (optimal PC), for bile flow my fat digestion and loose stools improved, so I knew I was on the right track. My acid reflux and tenderness in my upper abdomen was almost gone after one month and taking optimal PC
How I used ox bile on an empty stomach for SIBO
To further knockdown SIBO, I used ox bile for its antimicrobial properties to knock down my lingering (mild) symptoms of SIBO, which for me was when eating corn and bananas.
I used one capsule of ox bile from seeking health in the evening on an empty stomach, which is like dropping an antimicrobial bomb on the SIBO. After one month of taking ox bile, my acid reflux symptoms were completely gone, and I could eat corn chips and banana in moderation with no problem.
Using sunflower lecithin and ox bile were the two primary supplements that I used to beat my SIBO and acid reflux symptoms. While I was able to tolerate ox bile on an empty stomach, many people initially will only take ox bile with food.
If someone does have SIBO and takes ox bile or sunflower lecithin, they can experience a die-off or healing reaction where SIBO symptoms may initially get worse before they get better. Healing reaction symptoms means, go slower. (Sometimes, when you hit the nail on the head, you just know it, but when it comes to your body, you don’t want to hit too hard).
I used 125 mg capsules of ox bile for SIBO from the seeking health supplement line, which is a lower dose than many supplement lines. It is best to start with a low dosage as too much ox bile can cause symptoms such as diarrhea.
You can always increase the dosage of ox bile if needed, but 125 mg capsules of ox bile for knocking SIBO down worked great for me. I also used 800 mg of the optimal PC, which is a phospholipid complex derived from non-GMO sunflower oil, to improve bile flow from my gallbladder.
Both the Optimal PC and ox bile were the 2 supplements that I used to overcome my SIBO symptoms of abdominal tenderness, acid reflux, and loose stools.
Improving antimicrobial bile flow with sunflower lecithin optimized the natural terrain. Using ox bile externally helped to knock down my SIBO even further.
Additional SIBO information
For more information on the connection between poor methylation, genetics, gallbladder issues, and SIBO, I recommend reading the following articles.
How Poor Bile Production and Flow Can Cause SIBO
How SIBO Can Cause Acid Reflux
If you are struggling with SIBO Dr Nirala Jacobi from the SIBO Doctor has a very informative patient SIBO success course to beat SIBO for good. This course covers
- additional underlying causes of SIBO
- testing for SIBO
- Symptoms of SIBO
- types of SIBO
- biphasic SIBO diet
- antimicrobials for SIBO
and much more!
Dr Nirala Jacobi has been my go-to resource for information on SIBO. There is so much to know about SIBO and the SIBO success plan covers all the essentials that you need to know about SIBO so you can beat SIBO for good
Did you continue taking those two supplements after the month?
I do still take Sunflower Lecithin (optimal PC by seeking health) and continue to as maintenance to support my gallbaldder but only 1 – 2 times per week. I only purchased one bottle of ox bile and don;t continue to take that anymore as I have maintained my results but I did take it aprox 1 time per week after the 1 month to finish the bottle 🙂
Hi Amber, you mention that you took oxbile on an empty stomach. Did you take sunflower lecithin on an empty stomach as well? And if so, did you take them together?
I initially only took the sunflower lecithin for a month with food which helped and then I brought in 125 mg of ox bile in which I did take on an empty stomach before bed for the purpose of knocking down SIBO. I continued to take the sunflower lecithin with the ox bile on the same day but I didn’t take them together on an empty stomach. I no longer take ox bile as my symptoms improved but I do continue to support my gallbladder with sunflower lecithin. Hope that helps to clarify your question 🙂
I don’t have galbladder what I should do
If you don’t have a gallbladder then ox bile can be taken with food to help digest fats. Sunflower lecithin can still be taken to help prevent bile in the liver from becoming to thick and sludgy. It is also important to eat liver cleansing foods. If you have SIBO then it can take some work and I recommend working with a practitioner. Everyone tolerates supplements differently so it is best to work with someone or check with your doctor 🙂
The seeking health has gelatin caps which i dont do well witih. Can you recommend another brand that does not have softgel caps
Do you mean the Optimal PC capsules? If so they have it in a pure liquid form which is great and easier for dosing.
What about BodyBio PC??
Yes, that brand looks good as well… I just haven’t used it 🙂
Hi Amber, I wanted to ask you why do you have pictures of onions and garlic on the top of your page, are these foods we should avoid when we have SIBO or eat more of, I found that onions and garlic bothered me so I didn’t eat them. Thanks for all this helpful info.
In this case, the picture represents the problem and not the solution. Yes you are right many people with SIBO find onions and garlic to be the most problematic foods and should be avoided until SIBO is healed 🙂
Hi! Did you use antimicrobials at the same time as using the sunflower lecithin and ox bile? I’m curious if these 2 would be enough to treat the sibo (and possibly yeast). Thank you!
No, I only used the sunflower lecithin and ox bile although in the previous years I had used various antimicrobials for candida. The sunflower lecithin and ox bile nipped my niggling symptoms although I had done a lot of gut-healing detox work prior. Most people need more support but many people try all sorts of antimicrobials with no long term success if they have a sluggish gallbladder that was never supported 🙂
Hello. Can you tell me if you took the sunflower lecithin with each meal or just once a day, back when you were doing the protocol? Thanks.
Hi Michelle, I only took the sunflower lecithin once a day when I was doing the protocol, and now I take one every few days while alternating with fish oil to keep the omeaga 6-3 fats in balance 🙂
I’m very glad to find this website. I’ve had SIBO for 30 years or more and had built my world around it. When I made my way here I realized this is something I’ve probably needed for 30 years or more. Thanks so much for this website.
In January 2021 I started getting pain in my right shoulder, and was amazed to learn last night that it’s related to sluggish gall bladder and thick bile.
I’m going to do exactly what you did and take PC for a while before I introduce ox bile 125 mg. Great idea to take things slow, but persist.
I may actually reach out to you one of these days.
So glad you are finding the information helpful 🙂 Yes so much is related to a sluggish liver and gallbladder.
One quick question please :
I eat 1 to 2 dozen good quality cooked eggs per week, 3 per day most days.
Is this enough choline or would I still need to take sunflower lecithin along with the eggs I eat? Thanks so much.
Hi Joseph. That is a great question that I don’t have the answer to but I will say that while eggs are a great source of choline the body still needs to convert choline into phosphatidylcholine and people with SNP’s in the methylation pathway or PEMT gene may not produce enough phosphatidylcholine which is crucial for optimal bile flow. Eggs are also high in cholesterol and that needs to be in balance with phosphatidylcholine so many people would still benefit from taking sunflower lecithin 🙂
Loved your post (and page) – it made me hopefull after years and years of fighting sibo, candida and parasites.
Just wondering – how did You feel when You took the oxbile before bed? I’ve been testing this for a little and every night i struggle with Sleep, like my body is in total fight mode (might be a good thing, but is it possible to take another time of the day with same benefits or du You have any other suggestions regarding this?).
I need to fight the sibo, but also need my Sleep 🙂
Hi BR Kaja, I am glad to hear that you have found some hope. You can take ox bile anytime on an empty stomach for the purpose of killing SIBO. If you take it with food ox bile supports the breakdown of fats. One reason for taking ox bile before bed is to sleep while you may not feel your best, but in your case, your not sleeping which is super important. It could be due to a die-off reaction in which I suggest looking into a binder such as activated charcoal to bind endotoxins from dying bacteria that could be overwhelming your system. I have a post all about activated charcoal for SIBO and die-off reactions that you may want to search for and read. I didn’t experience any side effects as I was just nipping the last bit of my SIBO in the but although many people do experience die-off reactions especially if SIBO is a big problem. Have you already supported your gallbladder and improved bile flow?
Hi and thank you so much for your info! I just finished 2nd herbal treatment, doing slightly better with symptoms. Curious what you would recommend regarding Ox bile and Lecithin while in menopause (with hot flashes and sleep disruptions). Also generally sensitive to new supplements so will start slow. Much appreciated, Sara
Hi Sara, definitely start slow with the supplements. Not exactly sure what you are regarding too I don’t specialize in menopause but I would love to hear your feedback 🙂
Hi Amber, Great info, thank you!
I have my gallbladder but I have SIBO, IMO, constipation and poor digestion. When I take OX BILE with food my digestion is better. However, I am a little concerned because I have read in several places that OX BILE is alkaline and causes a problem with stomach acid and should therefore be taken ONLY on an empty stomach at least 2 hours after eating. Do you know if OX BILE is a problem for the stomach?
I tried taking it at night before bed a few times but I don’t sleep very well when I take it like this for some reason. Is It is an idea to take it during the day away from food?. Some people also say to take it with Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes, but then others say they would then cancel each other out because the bile is alkaline and the HCL is acid? I am so lost, please help!
Please note, I also take sunflower lecithin with each meal. Is it ok to take sunflower lecithin and OX BILE long term? How long should it take for SIBO?
Many, many thanks,
Hi and thanks for sharing your story. Everyone tolerates supplements differently so it may be a problem for one person yet beneficial for another. I took ox bile on a empty stomach for the purpose of killing SIBO due to its antimicrobial properties and this can cause die off reactions for some people.
For the purpose of optimizing fat digestion I would only take it with fatty meals not on an empty stomach.
My goal is always to get people off supplements or taking them intermittently with the most problematic foods. I would work with your practitioner to see whats best for you. Sunflower lecithin is great for the gallbladder but it is high in omega six fats so I don’t like to take that everyday long term without balancing it with a omega 3 fats such as fish oil. If you still have SIBO symptoms after taking it for a few months, I would investigate other underlying causes of SIBO, a SIBO diet, and additional antimicrobial for SIBO.
Hope that helps 🙂