An elemental diet is a liquid formula that delivers essential nutrients in their most basic “elemental” forms.

Elemental shakes contain complete nutrition for a limited period, providing all necessary nutrients without the extensive digestive effort that food requires. This allows the digestive system to heal and recover.

Specifically in cases of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), the elemental diet works by depriving overgrown bacteria in the small intestine of their food source, effectively eliminating them and helping to “reset” the microbiome.

How exactly does this work?

The elemental diet offers many benefits to those suffering with SIBO.

Anti-Bacterial Properties

Elemental shakes are absorbed very rapidly and within the first few feet of the small bowel depriving bacteria of any food. After a few days without a food source, bacteria begin to starve and die. This allows bacteria to be eradicated without the use of any antibiotics or herbs.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

An elemental diet harnesses the anti-inflammatory benefits of bowel rest while still feeding and nourishing the person. Many of the amino acids found in elemental shakes decrease inflammatory cytokines and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines. The low residue, hypoallergenic ingredients can decrease GI irritation and calm overactive immune reactions.

Easily Absorbed Nutrients

Having SIBO can impair digestion and nutrient absorption. The elemental diet contains easily absorbed, hypoallergenic nutrients which ensure adequate nutrition for those suffering with SIBO.

How effective is an elemental diet?

In 2004 Dr. Mark Pimentel studied an elemental diet for hydrogen SIBO. A two-to-three week elemental diet was found to be 80 – 85% effective in eradicating bacterial overgrowth. This is considered highly effective and surpasses the efficacy of all other SIBO treatments!

Clinically we have found elemental diets to work equally well for all three gas types: hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide.  Please see more information and case studies in this blog post: Using an elemental diet to treat SIBO & IBS

Interested in an elemental diet?

If you have been diagnosed with SIBO and believe that an elemental diet is the appropriate approach for you, please see the information on our self-guided program, the Elemental Diet Success Plan (EDSP). The EDSP offers participants the exact roadmap that we have been using in our clinical practice with outstanding results.

For those who would benefit from additional support through their elemental diet process, I also offer a program that combines 1:1 Elemental Diet Guidance alongside the EDSP program.

About Debbie Steinbock, HHC

After years of being told that she had an "incurable" chronic health condition, Debbie turned to her diet to help her understand her disease, restore her body, and regain control of her health. Her personal journey has given her the knowledge and compassion necessary to help her clients take an active role in their own healing. Since starting her practice in 2000, Debbie has successfully helped hundreds of people across the country to improve their diet, enhance their current state of health, and eliminate a variety of health conditions.

The information on our website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitution for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions.

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