In fact, food poisoning and the resulting diarrhea or gastroenteritis is now considered to be one of the major reasons for developing SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), according to research done by Dr. Mark Pimentel and others at Mt. Cedar Sinai Hospital in LA.

At the third SIBO symposium in Portland, Oregon last month, the research presented indicated that E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter Jejuni and Shigella all produce a toxin known as cytolethal distending toxin B (a neuro toxin). Sounds pretty threatening, and it is, if you are one of the 10 percent of people who don’t necessarily recover from the food poisoning.

The more antibodies you produce against the cytolethal distending toxin B, the more likely you are to have SIBO. That’s because when the human body produces antibodies to eliminate this toxin it also mistakenly (by molecular mimicry/autoimmunity) reduces the numbers of a good protein in our intestine, called vinculin.

This isn’t good. Vinculin is important for nerve cells in the gut, which stimulate surrounding muscles to push food down the digestive track. Less vinculin means weaker nerve cells and fewer of these pushes, known as peristaltic waves. Too few or weak peristaltic waves make our guts sluggish. Food stays in the small bowel too long and bacteria have a chance to latch on and grow. Before you know it, symptoms SIBO, like bloating, gas and inflammation, arise.

Thankfully, Dr. Pimentel says these nerve cells can recover! But it’s critically important not to get another bout of food poisoning and eliminate the SIBO that develops along the way. Read more about how to prevent food poisoning, especially when traveling, and what you can do about your SIBO today!