Well, complex subject, but here's a couple of reasons. First, most gut bacteria live in the large intestine because the waves that push along your intestinal contents move significantly slower there than in the small intestine and the bacteria that ferment undigested carbohydrates prefer a quiet environment. The elemental formula you're using contains predigested carbohydrates, so to speak; that is to say, carbohydrates already broken down into the form that the small intestine is best able to absorb (that is, sugars). Therefore, they're going to be slurped up by those small intestinal cells rather than passed on to the large intestine to be fermented.
Now, the small intestinal bacteria overgrowth that people refer to typically occurs when the motility (speed of transit of the intestinal contents) becomes abnormally slow and therefore the small intestine becomes more hospitable to those gut bacteria that like to feed on carbohydrates. Sugar doesn't slow intestinal transit. Instead, slowed motility is primarily caused by damage to the small intestine such as a little area that is blocked off or diabetic neuropathy or ulcers and inflammation as in Crohn's disease, damage which can decrease small intestinal motility. There have been several studies showing that enteral nutrition (elemental, semi-elemental, and polymeric diets) can INCREASE, and even normalize, abnormally slow intestinal transit in people with Crohn's. Therefore, in using this elemental formula, you are actually decreasing your risk of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth because you are healing the damaged lining of the intestine and restoring normal motility.
Anyway, that's a start. Hope it's clear.
Post Edited (Writer) : 1/20/2010 6:45:24 PM (GMT-7)