Like so many people with SIBO, I have tried A LOT of different supplements and therapies to help restore my gut function. Sorting through which treatments might be best for you and worth the money can be a frustrating task. I want to share some of my experiences with different products/therapies to hopefully assist you to find the right tools to put in your SIBO tool box.

I would also like to state that I am in no way affiliated with any of these products. I am not trying to sell you anything, but rather to share experiences. My goal is to provide relevant information about each product, my experience with each product and my overall opinion on the product’s efficacy. It is also important to remember that every SIBO case is different. So, what may have worked for me, might not work for you (and vice versa). Let’s dive in!

 

Atrantil

 

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Source: Atrantil.com

 

 

This supplement was designed by Dr. Kenneth Brown, a gastroenterologist,  as a safe, all-natural and effective alternative to antibiotic treatment for SIBO-C. The product was mainly designed to target and kill methane producing archaebacteria that are associated with SIBO-C.  The product has three weapons that are meant to work synergistically to wipe out those pesky gut bugs fast (when I took it, the company promoted that most SIBO cases resolve within 20 days of taking the therapeutic dose). These three plant derived weapons are:

  • Peppermint leaf which calms the small bowel and slows down transit in the small intestine, which gives the other two extracts time to work.
  • Quebracho Extract has high amounts of flavonoids that soaks up hydrogen, which starves the hydrogen loving archaebacteria of their preferred fuel source. It also weakens the cell walls. Overall, it creates a very unhospitable environment for the methane producing bacteria.
  • Conker Tree Extract which serves as a natural antibiotic. This bacteria killer has a unique ability to shut down the enzyme that activates methane production in the bacteria.

 

After hearing about Atrantil, I knew that I had to try it. Theoretically, it seemed revolutionary and much more targeted than any other pharmaceutical/herbal antimicrobial for treating SIBO-C. With the buzz growing in the SIBO Facebook group and my gut issues still causing problems, I was happy to be the guinea pig. Plus, there was a money back guarantee!!

Was Atrantil effective at reducing my symptoms? Not really. I took the therapeutic dose for 20 days and didn’t really notice much of a difference. But, I think this could be a result of my symptoms being a result of large intestine imbalances and yeast overgrowth rather than SIBO. I had prior treatment for SIBO before I took Atrantil and had not been retested before I took it so I can’t be sure that I still had bacteria in my small intestine. I knew from an organic acids test that I still had markers of yeast and bacterial imbalances, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I still had SIBO. Maybe Atrantil didn’t correct my symptoms, because SIBO wasn’t the culprit.

Although I didn’t have much luck with Atrantil, I am still excited and intrigued by it’s potential safe and targeted SIBO-C clearing effects. I have already discussed my apprehension about pharmaceutical antibiotics in a previous blog that you can read here. But, Atrantil’s action seems to target the pests in the small intestine without harming the good bacteria in the large bowel. Plus, Atrantil has shown strong efficacy in two recent studies.

One was a pilot study in which a randomized 2 week trial of Atrantil yielded a 91% decrease in bloating scores and 77% reduction in constipation scores. Another retrospective study on 24 patients that had failed other treatments, showed that a two week administration of Atrantil improved bloating symptoms fivefold, constipation threefold and pain threefold. Quality of life scores also increased by 88%!

While these studies are promising and exciting, but I do have a couple issues with them. First, Dr. Brown the creator of Atrantil, was an author of both studies, which means that there could be some conflict of interest there. Second, the studies were small. Third, I would have liked to see a before and after breath test to provide stronger evidence that Atrantil is clearing from the small intestine, not just symptom measure scores. I think it is unfair to compare the efficacy of Atrantil to antibiotics in treating SIBO, when antibiotics efficacy is measured through breath tests not symptom scores. To truly compare the two, Atrantil should conduct breath tests in the clinical trials.

Other reviews of Atrantil in the SIBO community seem mixed. Many people have reported symptom relief while taking Atrantil, while others seemed to not notice much of a difference. It also seemed that Atrantil only seemed to provide symptom relief while you take it. Like antibiotics, once discontinued, relapse is common. Atrantil is not a miracle cure and it doesn’t address the root of the SIBO.

As I have discussed in previous blogs, unless motility is restored, SIBO will continue to be a problem. Dysfunction in the Migrating Motor Cortex, thyroid problems, dysbiosis in the large bowel and even heavy metal toxicity are all major causes of delayed motility that should be addressed during treatment. I think Atrantil could be an effective tool in your tool box, but should be used in conjunction with other therapies.

In conclusion, I have mixed feelings about Atrantil. It could help some people, but it didn’t do much for me. For more information I highly recommend checking out this recent interview with Dr. Brown on Chris Kresser’s podcast.

 

Restore

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Like Atrantil, I had first heard about Restore from some strong buzz in the online gut forums. Designed by Dr. Zach Bush, a crazy smart MD and researcher, Restore is a carbon-rich redox supplement that is designed to strengthen the tight junctions in the cells of the gut lining. By optimizing tight junction function, intestinal permeability and inflammation are reduced. Restore also strengthens the tight junctions in the blood brain barrier leading many patients to report increased mental clarity.

The tight junction effects of Restore are a result of the redox formulas ability to foster cell-to-cell communication and cellular repair. This not only enhances the signaling between the cells in our gut lining, but restores our bacterial communication network. In a fascinating interview, Dr. Bush describes how a balanced bacterial ecosystem is highly dependent on species to species communication. He claims that restore establishes cross-species communication that regulates what bacterial populations grow and which populations are suppressed.

In the interview Dr. Bush states “You can almost picture Restore being the healthy compost to create the soil that will support that bacterial life again. It’s a really nice positive feedback loop. You put Restore in, which is a sterile product, you get the communication network backup, every breath the patient takes she’s going to breathe in bacteria from her pet cat, from her dog, from her garden, from the neighbor walking in and giving her a hug. Everybody is introducing bacteria to her environment every day and when you get back that compost, it’s all able to get a foothold again and you can very quickly rebuild the system.”

I would love to see some clinical trials to support some of the claims that Dr. Bush has promoted. Most of the research supporting this product is from studies done in the lab petri dishes and not in human subjects. But, the scientific theory behind the product appears to be sound. I have also heard some positive antidotal evidence from others in the SIBO community.

Personally, I have used about 3 bottles of Restore and I have had some noticeable improvements from it. Surprisingly, mental clarity is the most positive outcome I have experienced from using Restore. I was not expecting for Restore to help with my brain fog, but it almost completely resolved it within the first week of taking it. My mood swings seem to also improve when I take Restore. Less bitch fits are always a good thing! My GI discomfort also improved, but has not completely resolved. Through my limited experience with the product, I believe that Restore, as advertised, tightened the barriers in my gut and brain.

I think Restore could be a great product to use both during and after herbal/pharmaceutical treatment in order to seal the gut lining and to rebalance the microbial populations in the large intestine that can often be handicapped after antibiotic treatment. Also, if you struggle with brain fog, I highly recommend this product. It was literally like switching my brain on for the first time in over a year.

 

 

MegaSporeBiotic

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I have talked about probiotics extensively in a past post, but I want to revisit why I love MegaSpore in a little bit more detail.

Before I found MegaSpore, it seemed like I had tried every probiotic known to man. I spent tons of money on what I thought at the time were the highest potency products with over a 100 billion bugs per serving! I was determined to remodel my gut and I thought that the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species were the keys to doing so. After trying at least 5 different products with negligible results, I lost faith in the efficacy of probiotics. Until, I found MegaSpore!

So what sets MegaSpore apart?

  • Survivability! Probiotics can’t work their magic if they don’t survive the harsh acidic conditions of the stomach. Most of the popular probiotics and even fermented foods do not survive the transit to the large intestine. In fact, in a UK study that analyzed the survivability of 35 popular probiotic supplements that were high in Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species found that at optimal pH none of the strains survived with any viability. At weaker stomach acid levels, only 4 of the 35 strains analyzed showed any chance of survival to the large intestine. Another study looking at the survivability of a leading commercial probiotic (Ultimate Flora Critical Care) and 2 popular yogurt brands (chobani and dannon) found less than 1% survivability at optimal stomach acid levels (pH of 1.3).

 

The bacterial spores in MegaSpore, unlike lacto and bifido based products, remain in a dormant state until they reach the intestines, which guarantees 100% survivability. I think many of us assume that the higher the number of bacteria in the probiotic the better, but this is not the case. More is not better. While the probiotic might taut 50 billion cells, very few bacteria, if any at all, are going to survive. But, you can guarantee that all 4 billion cells from MegaSpores will survive the journey to the colon.

 

  • They are found in nature! While lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species make up the majority of the good bacteria in the human GI tract, you are unlikely to find large quantities of these strains from our environment. You actually inherit almost all of your bifido and lacto bacteria from you mother during vaginal delivery and through the mother’s breast milk. You shouldn’t need large quantities from outside sources, because you get all those good guys from your mama.

 

Unlike lacto and bifido species, spores are found all over our environment (especially in our soil and on our plants). We co-evolved with these bacteria and they have a strong ability to positively modulate the environment in the GI tract. Research even suggests that these spores contributed to certain developments in the human immune system. Also, we have binding sites in our gut for these particular bacteria, which allows them to colonize the gut very effective.

 

  • Only probiotic supplement brand that contains Bacillus Clausii. This strain of bacteria has shown comparable efficacy as some broad-spectrum antibiotics in treating SIBO. In Europe, bacillus clausii is widely used as a gentler alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of SIBO. In addition, it is antibiotic resistant making it a good choice to use during any antibiotic treatment.

 

  • Bacillus Subtilis and Bacillus Licheniformis can attack SIBO and other pathogens head on. B. Subtilis found in MegaSpore can produce 12 different types of antibacterial compounds, which can reduce the bacterial load in the small intestine and balance the bacterial population in the large intestine. In addition, B. Licheniformis produces bacitracin, a potent antibiotic compound that can attack the nasty gut bugs as well.

 

  • Highest potency spore based probiotic on the market. With 4 billion spores, it delivers more spores than any other spore-based probiotic on the market.

 

  • Nutrient Production. The strains in MegaSpore can synthesize a large number of nutrients such as Vitamin K2, B vitamins and carotenoids.

 

  • Ability to Influence the pH and cause microbial shifts. MegaSpore creates an environment within the intestinal tract that is unhospitable to pathogenic bacteria while supporting good bacteria in the GI tract. So, if you have low bifido or lacto populations, taking megaspore will clear out the bad bacteria and create an optimal environment for these good bacteria populations to flourish. For instance, Bacillus coagulans produces lactic acid which reduces pH to levels that support good bacteria.

 

  • Immune function. These spores help modulate the immune system by increasing your adaptive immunity and decreasing your innate immunity, which reduces the inflammatory response. The spores also help you fight infections by stimulating the production of B and T cells that help you fight infections in the body.

 

  • Digestion. According to Kiran Krishnan, one of the microbiologists who helped formulate MegaSpore, the spores “produce all the digestive enzymes in the gut at potent levels.” Bacillus Licheniformis found in MegaSpore is particularly great at increasing protein digestion.

 

When I first started taking MegaSpore, I was underweight and dropping fast. I was eating 2500 calories a day without exercise and was in a chronic state of lethargy. Upon completing my first bottle of MegaSpore, I had gained 5 pounds and I was able to resume longer walks around my neighborhood. The spores were clearly essential in allowing my body to properly digest and absorb the foods I was eating. My poop quality and quantity also seemed to vastly improve while taking MegaSpore. I just feel better when I take it!

 

 

For these reasons, I would recommend giving MegaSpore a try if you are still struggling with gut issues. I think taking MegaSpore during and after antibiotics can also help prevent and correct any dysbiosis that results from antibiotic treatment. If you do decide to jump on the MegaSpore train, I would definitely start with a low dose (1/2-1 pill every other day) and titrate up to the therapeutic dose (2 pills everyday). I experienced some minor die-off when I stated at too high a dose, which resolved when I lowered my dose to one pill every other day.

 

For more information, you can check out this great article and presentation about MegaSpore.

 

I would love to hear about your experiences with any of these products! Please leave a comment below. Also, if you have any additional questions about my experiences with these products, feel free to leave a comment.

For more personalized supplement recommendations, consider working with me!

 

79 thoughts on “Things I have tried: Part 1 (Atrantil, Restore, MegaSporeBiotic)

  1. Minor question…. are you in the medical field? Your choice of words make me wonder whether or not your involvement in the products mentioned above is more than what you are saying… I had to go to the dictionary to understand what you were actually talking about. And, I do read quite a bit…. Just wondering. Also, I will be doing further research on the last two products you mentioned. I don’t jump on the supplemental bandwagon just because someone else says that the product is great… And, to be fair, will look into the Atrantil….

    1. Hi Marie!! I am not in the medical field, but I am a student at the University of Cincinnati studying to be a dietitian! I wholeheartedly respect your caution on jumping on supplement bandwagons! I am not associated with any of the products mentioned, but I still think it is important to share my experiences with others. I would always recommend doing your own research before buying any supplement! Thanks for reading….I will work on writing with less jargon in the future!

      1. I am so happy to stumble upon your blog and please don’t change your writing style. Your summaries are great! Over simplifications can be a disservice. – thank you

      2. Thanks for the kind words Frannie!! I’ll always try to make things as digestible as possible, without oversimplifying things! Glad you find my blog helpful!

      3. Hello Amy, I would like to know if megasporebiotics is safe? how many time bacillius will stay in my intestines?

      4. Hello Amy. Can you tell me about megaspore they are like saccromices? because saccromices leave intestines after 5 days, but bacillius? they live in our intestines? how they work in our intestines?

  2. Thank you for this wealth of information you are sharing here. (I don’t mind the jargon.) I haven’t been diagnosed with SIBO, but my doctor suspects it. I’ve been reading about it online and saw a couple folks swearing by Lugol’s Iodine Solution (5%). Do you have any experience or knowledge of this cure? The woman named Bonnie said it cured her 8 year bout of SIBO. I read your article on Thyroid and SIBO and thought this sounded promising.

    1. Hi Natal!! Thanks so much for reading. I have taken LugoTabs which is basically the same thing as lugols but in a tablet form from Hakala Labs. Honestly, I am still totally up in the air about high doses of iodine, even though I have researched the topic pretty extensively. I definitely think if you have an iodine deficiency and don’t have hashimotos than trying iodine could help. But, I would definitely run it by a medical practitioner first. If you do decide to try it, taking co nutrients is crucial (selenium, magnesium, vitamin C are the big 3). I would also recommend starting slow and building up over a long period of time to make sure you are reacting okay.

      Personally, I haven’t noticed a huge difference in symptoms from taking iodine. I think because it is so important to white blood cell production and thyroid health it could be helpful in treating SIBO. It is definitely important that you are getting enough iodine if you are eating a lot of goitrogenic foods. So, I tend to think it can help SIBO, but not cure it.

      I hope that was helpful! Thanks for reading!

      1. Thank you for your reply, Amy! I took notes from it. 😉 I wonder if you prefer the microgram dosing of Iodine to the milligram dosing? Sounds like Stephanie Buist, ND (the woman who has the groups online—who was Dr. Brownstien’s patient turned ND) doesn’t prefer to use the microgram doses of iodine. Her protocol calls for the milligram dosing. I’m talking with my ND about iodine supplementation, I am on the low side of TSH and T3, but not Hypothyroid, though she still wants me to support my thyroid with 600mg-1000mg of Iodine a day. There is such a mix of information about iodine, but I tend to think it is because everyone is different and can be more or less sensitive to iodine. I’ve read stories of people taking the high doses of iodine only to get back a thyroid panel showing high numbers in their TSH. I wonder if this is because they are supplementing with Iodine and therefore their bodies don’t register as needing to produce TSH while they are taking iodine doses. What do you think of that? It was just a thought I had. Thanks again!

  3. Hi Amy,
    I am very interested in trying the Megasporebiotic,but am trying to find out if it is safe to take for people who have a TH2 dominant immune system? I have read that certain bacteria strains can increase TH2 dominance which something i really have to avoid.

    1. Hi Jason! I have no idea, but you can definitely contact the people at Rebel Health Tribe who sell it. They will have a lot more information than me! Sorry I couldn’t be more help! Best of luck!

  4. Amy,
    Great info on this post. I was wondering if you had or know of anyone with side effects from Atrantil?

    My doctor recommended it to me and I am hesitant…

    However he did give me a promo code that anyone can use for $5 off! If you want to use it it is MYGUT008

    1. Hi Drew, sorry for the delay! I have heard of some people having increased bloating and die off like reactions to Atrantil, but they didn’t seem unbearable or different than other antimicrobial agents like herbs or pharmaceutical antibiotics. I hope that helps!

  5. Hi Amy, After researching the megaspore I must confess a little apprehension as one particular strain – Licheniformis, that has been shown to be controversial. However, my desperation to be well, after a solid year of antimicrobials,antibiotics, restricted diet, etc. for SIBO – only to wind up where I’ve started, leaves me grasping for nearly anything. Has your SIBO recovered from the use of the Megaspore?

    1. Hi Jennifer! Yes…I know there has been some debate about that particular strain on the web. Its great that you are researching products thoroughly before jumping on to a product. Personally, I have read a rebuttal on this very topic by the microbiologist behind megaspore that basically demolished the argument that Licheniformis was unsafe. I trust his expertise. If you go to the comments of this article (https://fixyourgut.com/hsos-part-7-why-i-do-not-recommend-megaspore-or-my-issue-with-bacillus-licheniformis/) you can read through Kiran’s rebuttal and decide for yourself!

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Amy,

    Wow – that’s quite a response, I’ll have to think more on the subject.

    I’d like to ask an unrelated question: I am pondering the notion that SIBO may be a form of dysbiosis that can be corrected (but not sure of this, of course) I’m wondering what others think.

    1) is the latest study out of China where the eradicated SIBO in 5/7 patients via nasal tube into jejunum.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383124/ Here they’re putting FMT directly into the small intestines, and it’s correcting things – how is this possible if the theory of “adding more bacteria is a “no-no?”

    2) is Dr Shepard in Florida who conducts intestinal washes, and encapsulations of the same. http://rdsinfusions.com/fecal-transplant-success One patient who had SIBO responded extremely well to the “wash”, and another by the name of Beverly did extremely well with the encapsulations. (She seemed to be an undiagnosed SIBO case). The subjects make me wonder if SIBO it is not a state of dysbiosis that can be corrected with a proper microbiome.

    Please share your thoughts and ponderings.

    Jenny

    1. Well, I have had FMT done and it certainly helped with my symptoms. I many SIBO cases are rooted in large intestinal dysbiosis. So, theoretically, FMT should help restore large intestinal balance, which will also have positive effects on the function of the small bowel (better digestion and motility). I think we have to be a little careful in talking about FMT, because while I think it can definitely be helpful…we just don’t have a ton of scientific literature to support its effects. Please check out my FMT post to learn more. I talk about it extensively there.

  7. Dr Bush said in a podcast, for every year of illness it requires a month of Restore. It works and there have been studies.

  8. Hi Amy, should one try Restore first and then introduce Megaspore or vice verse? Any thoughts or suggestions on how take them both? Thanks you!

  9. In January of this year, I had the flu + pneumonia. I was treated with antibiotics. Immediately following that treatment, my digestive system shut down completely. I experienced extreme nausea, vomiting and severe constipation. My GI doc ordered a CT scan to check for recurrent diverticulitis. It was negative and I was pretty much dismissed as just being constipated. After a conversation with a friend, I made the connection between my previous illness and antibiotic treatment. I returned to the GI doc and informed her of this revelation. She prescribed 2 weeks of xifaxan to be followed by a probiotic. Within 10 days of taking the xifaxan,the nausea and vomiting stopped. However, the constipation worsened. This all took place over the course of 7 months. I was unable to move my bowels without large doses of stimulant laxatives. I began researching what could possibly be wrong and discovered I had SIBO. The Doctor never told me that. I ended up ordering the Atrantil after reading stories similar to mine. On day 21 of the treatment, I had my first BM without stimulants. I’m now 6 weeks in and my system has returned to normal…I have my life back!

    1. Wow JoJo! That’s an amazing story! I am so happy you found success with Atrantil. We are all so different, but I definitely think Atrantil is worth a try for people with SIBO.

      1. Rifaximin frequently does not treat the methanogens since they are not bacteria….they are in a different phyla called archaea. They are typically the chief cause of SIBO-based constipation. The protocol of late seems to be Xifaxan (Rifaximin) and neomycin simultaneously. That seems to kill the methanogens and the bacteria in SIBO patients. Atrantil seems to only help but not cure in my experience.

  10. Hello Amy,
    I recently took the breath test and it came back positive. My doc ordered me Cipro.After a bit of research I am leaning on not taking the antibiotic. There is so much information out there as far as more natural paths to take, I am curious about Berberine in combination with Antrantil, Restore, and Oregano Oil. Do you suggest going all in at once or slowly introducing each into the diet? Also, if antibiotics are necessary to the healing, what is the best to take? Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with all of us!

    1. Hi Maggie!! Thanks for reaching out. I actually had a terrible experience with CIPRO. It is considered like the atomic bomb of antibiotics ad basically will obliterate your bacterial populations both in the small and large intestines. Plus many people have horrible reactions to CIPRO…there are websites full of horror stories. But, it seems like you are already steering clear of CIPRO, so that is great! AS far as that combo, I have never used that combination before so I couldn’t tell you about its efficacy for me personally. I really found lauicidan to be very gentle but very effective. I discuss antibiotics heavily in this older post if you want to check it out: https://sibodiaries.com/2016/07/27/antibiotics-for-sibo-helpful-or-harmful/

      Thanks for reading Maggie!

  11. Hi there, I just wanted to weigh in on my first and only experience with Atrantil. i took one capsule because I tend to be hypersensitive to everything. The one capsule dose was too strong and I ended up in bed for the day. I wouldn’t call it “die off”. I would call it an irritated gut. I did contact the company and they did say the capsules could be divided. I will say it moved my bowels and bloating for the day was decreased ….but I lost a day in bed. Thanks for all your work. Your thoughts and research are helpful.

    1. Wow! I have heard some pretty strong die off reactions with Atrantil…but never heard of a reaction that extreme. I guess it just goes to show you that we are all unique. Different treatments are gonna work for different folks!

      Also thanks for checking out my site! I am glad you find my thoughts and research helpful 😉

      1. Hi Amy,

        I’m pretty sure it wasn’t die off. Atrantil was an irritation to my digestive tract. Thank you for all you do.

        Marlene

  12. Hi there,
    I am interested in Restore, and have read over your review of it several times. I am curious if you continue your spore based probiotics while still on Restore. Also, did you use restore long-term or on more of a short term basis?

    Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi Michael!! I personally use restore cyclically, but I think it is meant to be taken long term to protect gut function. I did continue to use the spores while I was on it!!

  13. Hi Amy,

    I just started Megaspore a week ago and I am seeing some early positive results. I started out taking 1/4 of a pill every day and have worked my way up to 1/2 of a pill every day the last couple of days. My questions are:
    1. How long did it take you to work up to full dosage? I’m wondering if taking the full dosage will help my symptoms even more, or if I should continue to go slowly. I haven’t noticed any negative side effects so far.
    2. How long did it take you to gain weight? I, like you, have suffered from significant weight loss over the last 8 months and am desperate to put on weight, but it seems like nothing is working! I need to gain about 10 lbs and I really hope that Megaspore can help with this. I find that I’m tolerating foods better since starting it, but still dealing with some lingering gas/bloating issues after large meals.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jan!! Thanks for reading. Sorry for the delayed response!! As far as the mega spore, I think if you don’t have any negative side effects it wouldn’t hurt to increase to a therapeutic dose. It took me like a year and a half to regain the weight. I think it is a slow process that took a lot of work for me. Be patient. It helped when I would add a little extra fat to my meals.

    1. Having gluten intolerance and other digestive problems- though careful with my diet, I still had intermittent diarrhea. after one spoonful of restore, felt cramping sensation, next day the first well formed stool in years! I take it every day- makes huge difference. Always take it with me when traveling.

      Diane

  14. Hi Amy,
    thanks for a great article. I just finished Rifaxamin 1650 mg/Neomycin 1000 mg X 10 and still on Atrantil and doing good. the pain is completely gone but nausea and still not myself. Still on 10 mg Nortripyline and that messes up my mind but reducing that always increased pain in past so will stay on it. Do you recommend I add the Restore or the Megaspore to protect my gut or is staying on the Atrantil good enough? Thanks for your good help.

  15. I just found you … and I’m so happy! I connect with so much of what you have been through and am now realizing, after initial treatment with two separate Gastroenterologists, that many mistakes were made in my therapy. For example, no one telling me to maintain my diet high or moderate in FODMAPS so that the bateria is metabolically active and therefore able to be eradicated. Ugh. I did three rounds of harsh antibiotics that way. Like you, I have re-tested negative for SIBO, but remain symptomatic. I found a great functional medicine MD who has me on herbal antibiotic treatment currently. All this to ask you about the probiotic you are reccomending – I’m currently taking VSL3 every morning and just started Activated You at night ( which I’m worried might be a BS product – any thoughts? )… I am most definitely ordering MegaSpore. Would you agree its probably best not to take a second probiotic along with it? Thank you SO much and I’m so grateful to have found you. You are going to make an amazing clinical dietician XO
    Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for reading. I am glad you have found the blog helpful! VSL #3 is high quality and has some good research behind it, but I am not super familiar with Activated You. But Mega Spore has been the real deal for me personally. I don’t think you need to take anything else while you are on it (in my opinion that would just be a waste of money). Best of luck to you Michelle!

  16. Hi Amy, thank you for your review. I just started Restore and have Megaspore. It is not recommended to take probiotics with Restore. Which one did you take first or did you end up taking them together?

    Thank you!

    1. I know that the creator of restore is not a big fan of using them together, but I have used them both together and separately (and had success both ways). I don’t know if I can recommend starting one and not the other. But, I would probably try the MegaSpore first and then follow it up with Restore if you are concerned of using them together.

  17. Hi Amy,

    I was so happy to come across your blog. I have been dealing with SIBO for about six years, and as you know, it is like solving a great mystery–frustrating and expensive!

    I tried Atrantil for 30 days (takes 2 bottles to cover the 30 days for about $80 – yikes!). It seemed to help but when I stopped, I relapsed. I came across Restore and decided to buy the 2-week bottle and give it a try before going back to the Atrantil. I have been on it for about 10 days and have not noticed much change. However, that may not be enough time to notice anything. Then I came across your blog.

    Would you suggest I go straight to the Mega Spore now and not waste anymore time or money with Atrantil or Restore? Sorry if this question is redundant with other questions….it’s nice to hear back personally.

    Thank you! Laura

    1. I would say that MegaSpore is probably going to be the best bang for your buck! Especially if you are still dealing with SIBO, since the spores can really help attack SIBO head on while also rebalancing large intestine bacteria!

      1. I think the maintenance dose is one pill a day and the therapeutic dose is two a day. I don’t personally take it right now, so I personally don’t think you have to take it indefinitely. I think 3 months of therapeutic dose and another 3 months of the maintenance dose is probably a good amount of time. I would then assess how you feel and whether you think you need to keep taking it.

  18. Thanks a lot!!! I have also SIBO, I want to try Sacc. Boulardi and MegaSporeBiotic. Can you say about your diet? What kind of food do you eat? I want to put weight, I am very skinny. I tried to take a lot coconut oil but I have loss stool. What is the best food for you with SIBO?

    1. I have written about this in some other blog posts! I would check out my article “Is you SIBO diet too restrictive? Or not restrictive enough?” and also my article “Why I don’t believe in SIBO diets?”…I hope they give you some clarity about my diet and what worked best for me! Thanks for reading

  19. Hi Amy, Just found this post when researching Restore. I’ve been taking Atrantil for two weeks and I believe it is helping with motility issues. Bloating is lessened, but still an issue. It’s pricey for the therapeutic dose, but worth it if it works. I’d like to try Restore, but I don’t want to confuse the results. Would you take these together? Or try substituting the Restore and see if that alone will work? BTW,I’ve tested positive for SIBO twice and taken at least 4 rounds of xifaxin with not much help.

    1. If it were me, I would probably take the atrantil with the restore together. The atrantil can clear and the restore can help reduce inflammation, reduce intestinal permeability and balance the large intestine bacteria. I would contact Restore to see what they say about the combo as well. Since you have relapsed a lot, I would also suggest trying some brain-gut axis repair exercises. I wrote a post all about it that you can check out! Best of luck!

      1. Amy, after read on internet about megaspore, now I am scared. exactly of bacillus licheniformis, it can cause sepsis and infections. How do you think about it?

  20. Hey there – I just wanted to alert folks that Restore4Life is stimulating my thyroid (in a bad way). I started taking it about 2 weeks ago and I stopped yesterday since I was having symptoms typical of an over-stimulated thyroid (I have Hashimoto’s and am taking thyroid hormones). I alerted the folks at Restore4Life. I don’t think it’s a bad product but just wanted to put it out there that it may not be suitable for folks with thyroid issues. I have a lot of experience with things that don’t agree with my thyroid so I’m familiar with the symptoms. Too bad, it seems like a novel approach to gut health.

    1. Hi Rhonda!! Thanks so much for sharing. It is definitely important to remember that just because I had success with Restore doesn’t mean it is right for everybody! I’m glad that you know your body well enough to realize it wasn’t working for you. Thanks again for sharing!

      1. Sure thing Amy! I just like to report my experience with Hashimoto’s reactions since sometimes it’s hard to find info from anyone else who’s had an experience with a product. By the way – I started MegaSporeBiotic this week, I’ll let you know how that works for me!

  21. Hi there, thank you for your informative article – I just started taking megaspore – I have sibo and candida – I started with 1/4 cap then quickly increased to 1 capsule a day – I didn’t read that people with sibo and candida should start very slow at 1/4 cap every OTHER day – I’m so silly – I’ve been dealing with crazy bloating, cramping and diarrhea 🙁 making me feel like my sibo is getting worse not better –
    But in your opinion is this die off and a good sign? Or a reason to stop taking it? also because I was taking so much at the beginning probably reason for even stronger die off? I don’t want to give up on the probiotic everyone claims is so helpful – what does did you start at and for how long before you increased ? I’m just wondering how slow I should go – because obviously based on my negative reactions and going to a full cap on the 3rd Day only, should cut back big time or all together?

    Thank you!

    1. I think everyone is very different. I started on 1 pill every other day. I had some mild symptoms and I would back off for a couple days. I did this for about two weeks then started every day and then eventually to two a day. But, MegaSpore is powerful and may require building up more slowly for you. I would start back at the 1/4th a day since you tolerated that well, right? Do that for about a week or two then try 1/2 a cap. Following another 1-2 weeks, bump up to 1 cap/day. I think it is important to listen to the ques of your body. I think mild die off is probably ok in my opinion, but if it becomes bad when you increase then you may want to reduce the dose for a little bit longer. I think with MegaSpore the slow steady approach works best! I hope that was semi-helpful!

  22. Hi Amy. Thanks for this! I’ve just started Restore and found your article in my research. I’ve tried megaspore biotic in the past and really liked it. What order did you take these in? I’m wondering I should try Restore for a few months then go back on Megaspore(as they tell you not to use a probiotic with Restore)…what’s your opinion on that? Thanks!

  23. Hi…Thank you so much for all your work! I was researching Megaspore and came upon another product that has the same probiotic ingredients except for bacillus licheniformis. If I’m taking the full spectrum of b vitamins, do you think it might have a similar effect?
    https://www.amazon.com/Just-Thrive-Probiotic-Antioxidant-Supplement/dp/B00IO9PMDO/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1519833454&sr=8-3&keywords=just+thrive+probiotic+and+antioxidant
    It’s more readily available for me….

    1. Just Thrive was developed by the same people as MegaSpore! I would say if that is more easily available then I would just take Just Thrive!

      1. I kind of suspected that, Amy! I don’t know the significance of the missing ingredient other than the ‘controversy’ you referred to earlier, but I’ll give Thrive a try. I’m currently in my first week of Oregano oil and am trying Atrantil again. It helped quite a bit my first time around but didn’t last long. I also just got some Restore. I’ll have to figure out what can be taken with what – don’t want to counteract the therapeutic effects of anything. It’s been a long 2 years…

  24. Amy,
    Just wondering: Should I take 2 of the Just Thrive capsules a day, as it’s recommended for MegaSporeBiotic? I’m now on one a day…

    1. I am not familiar with the dosing of that probiotic. How many organisms are in each pill? Is there a recommended dose on the bottle?

      1. Amy, it’s the same as Megaspore but minus the bacillus licheniformis. On the bottle it gives the standard one pill a day – there’s no talk of a therapeutic dose though. It would make sense to me to go to 2 pills for a while since it’s the same company.

  25. Amy, it’s the same as Megaspore but minus the bacillus licheniformis. On the bottle it gives the standard one pill a day – there’s no talk of a therapeutic dose though. It would make sense to me to go to 2 pills for a while since it’s the same company.

  26. Just an up date: I’ve been taking Atrantil (2 caps, 3x a day with meals) and Oregano Oil ( 3 caps a day) for 5 weeks. I started Just Thrive ProBiotics (1 cap a day) for 3 weeks. I had a good lessening of my symptoms for much of that time but now my symptoms are beginning to worsen. I’m wondering if I should take a week off from the Oregano Oil? I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to take a break. Or perhaps try a different natural antibiotic – on it’s own or combined. Perhaps Berberine? I’m fairly disappointed because I really thought I was on the right road. I hope that this is just a temporary setback. Any suggestions? I”m stuck in a pretty rural area for a while and there are no Dr’s around here who understand SIBO. Just looking for suggestions. Thanks.

    1. Rich, I have been of a mind lately to focus more on feeding rather than killing. Antrantil is mostly focused on Archaea and the methanogens in your gut and not so much for the nitrogen-producing SIBO. Certainly the oregano oil will help with the bad bacteria but might also harm your good flora too in the crossfire. Rather, try feeding your gut bacteria and adding diversity with a broad range of pre and probiotics. This is more like fertilizing and over-seeding your lawn to crowd out the weeds rather than trying to kill the weeds. I think this is a better “long game” for most of us since most killing strategies (IMHO) are nothing more than shooting in the dark and only provide short-term benefits in my experience (your mileage may vary). Your new-and-improved flora will also throw off a huge arsenal of “goodness” that will provide a rich array of neurotransmitters, hormones and other beneficial compounds. Of course, restrict your diet to avoid things that feed your SIBO too (sugar, flour, things in bags and boxes).

      1. Jay, I wonder if you could share your experience and current status, or maybe provide a link to somewhere you’ve already done so? Thanks…

  27. Thanks, Jay. I actually am thinking about going the opposite way first. I’m thinking of trying Dysbiocide ans FC Cidal (from Biotics Research) and going full bore on the herbal antibiotic approach. Every time I’ve tried new probiotics I feel better for a couple of days, just enough to get my hopes up, and then it collapses like a house of cards. But I do understand you’re thinking. You may be right, and if this doesn’t work…

  28. Hi Amy, I have severe bloating and C and although no breath tests yet SIBO symptoms are rife. I am doing the FODMAP diet but slip up with chocolate cake and go backwards. I have a prescription for Riflaxin, have out Atrantiland just found your blog hooray !!! I’m wondering what your thoughts are… I wa thinking of taking the course of Riflaxin,take Atrantilfor 21 days,do the megaspore for ??? And then do restore or??? What do you think and suggest. Is this too much ?

    1. Hi Tara! I think it really depends on the individual. I have never done the Atrantil Rifaximin combo, but it seems like it should be ok and could be effective! I just don’t have any hard and fast experience to tell you about. You can take Restore and MegaSpore during antibiotic treatment. I believe MegaSpore in particular during antibiotic treatment can be helpful! Best of like

      1. The “best practice” protocol is Rifaximin alongside Neomycin at the same time. This gets the bacteria and the archaea (which is what the Antrantil is targeting). This protocol targets the methane AND nitrogen producing bugs. If you are going to nuke your SIBO with Rifaximin you might as well go ahead and add in the Neomycin instead of the Atrantil in my humble opinion. You always have Atrantil as a plan “B” after your antibiotics – if needed – or for recurrence/ maintenance later.

  29. Hi Amy,

    For all of the times that I’ve researched SIBO, I have no clue how I finally stumbled on your website but I am glad to find this info. Two questions: Where do I find MegaSporeBiotic to purchase? I just looked on Amazon and don’t see it? My issue is SIBO-C (breath test positive 3 times), crazy bloating, gas, weight gain w/ inflammation, Acid Reflux and weight gain so my goal is to get un-constipated, reduce the bloat and hopefully restore my body back to it’s normal weight range as a result. I’ve taken Rifaximin twice and have a third round on my counter but can’t bring myself to take it again because it made ‘C’ unbearable last two times. My Dr. refuses to prescribe Neomycin with it and I’m convinced she doesn’t really treat SIBO as serious as it is.Just want to be sure the products you have blogged about will help with ‘C’ and not geared toward ‘D’. Thanks in advance.

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