How to Repair Leaky Gut: Adjusted Diet, Supplements and More
Our gut is healthy when our microbiota is in balance. Thus, all parts of our body function normally. However, if a disbalance occurs, health issues may arise. One of them may be increased permeability in the intestinal lining which is referred to as “leaky gut”. Leaky gut has many causes, thus many possible symptoms. But…
Our gut is healthy when our microbiota is in balance. Thus, all parts of our body function normally. However, if a disbalance occurs, health issues may arise. One of them may be increased permeability in the intestinal lining which is referred to as “leaky gut”. Leaky gut has many causes, thus many possible symptoms. But rest assured, all of them can be cured by adjusting your diet and consuming supplements such as probiotics and digestive health supplements.
What Is Leaky Gut?
Our gut is lined with epithelial tissue that creates an interface between us and the external environment. The gut lumen, which is home to billions of microbes, aids digestion and has an impact on the immune system.
Mucins, antimicrobial compounds, immunoglobulins, and cytokines are just a few of the numerous components that help support this barrier. If any of these elements are faulty, intestinal permeability may increase, resulting in a “leaky gut.” A leaky gut permits antigens from the gut lumen to enter the host, potentially triggering both local and systemic immune responses.
The leaky gut has many causes, thus a lot of its symptoms correlate to other health conditions. Some of the symptoms of leaky gut are:
- Joint pain
- Skin problems (acne, rash)
However, leaky gut can be improved by following a certain diet, consuming certain supplements, and changing your lifestyle.
How to Cure Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut can be treated by following a diet and avoiding certain food. Furthermore, some supplements, such as digestive health supplements, can be used to heal the gut.
In addition, since leaky gut can also be a symptom of another disease, your doctor may prescribe treatment for that underlying condition, which will in turn help heal your gut.
Foods to Avoid
Usually, when we try to avoid certain foods, we start an elimination diet. You may wonder what is an elimination diet? Well, as the name suggests, it eliminates certain foods from your diet.
An elimination diet is started when we want to see whether we have a certain food sensitivity and/or intolerance. Food intolerance is a non-immune response triggered by a food or food component at a dose that is ordinarily tolerated, and it is responsible for the majority of adverse food reactions. On the other hand, food sensitivity is any sort of inflammation caused by food that isn’t caused by allergies or intolerances. Any dietary protein or property, such as a high-fat meal, can make you hypersensitive.
To cure leaky gut, it is best to avoid inflammatory food such as:
- Processed foods
- High-fat foods
- High-sugar foods
- Gluten and dairy products
It is recommended to follow the FODMAP elimination diet at the beginning. FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. Many people cannot fully digest these groups of food, thus in order to avoid further inflammation and to cure your leaky gut, it is best to avoid them.
Supplements That Heal Leaky Gut
Besides following an elimination diet and avoiding certain foods, supplements, such as our leaky gut powder, that can help heal leaky gut are:
- Vitamin D
Thus, consuming them together with your diet will help heal your gut.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can be found in a variety of foods and colonize our intestines. Probiotics assist the body in maintaining proper mucosal homeostasis in the gut. Probiotics not only assist the gut mucosa to operate normally, but they also protect it from harmful elements including toxins, allergies, and pathogens.
Probiotics not only balance out the microbiota in our gut, but they can also improve intestinal permeability.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial probiotic supplements were given to test the effect on markers for the intestinal barrier. One group received multispecies probiotics while the other group received a placebo for 14 weeks. Zonulin and 1-antitrypsin were tested in feces at the beginning and at the end of treatment to evaluate gut permeability. Furthermore, blood samples were taken as well.
Zonulin levels dropped from slightly above normal to normal ranges with probiotic administration and were considerably lower after 14 weeks with probiotics compared to placebo. With probiotics, CP concentrations were tendentially lower after 14 weeks.
- Supports gut barrier health
- Optimize digestive function
- Controls the growth of bad bacteria
- Improves mood, stress response, and brain balance, etc.
Prebiotics are food for microorganisms living in our gut. More specifically, prebiotics is non-digestible food that stimulates the growth of limited bacteria in our gut.
Since probiotics or good gut bacteria help improve gut permeability and promote a healthy gut barrier, it is important to nourish them so that they don’t turn into bad gut bacteria. Therefore, by consuming prebiotics we will promote the growth of healthy bacteria, which will in turn help heal our gut.
Vitamin D also referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is unique as it is synthesized by our body when exposed to sunlight. Low levels of this vitamin can lead to serious consequences. Since vitamin D is needed for the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus, low levels can decrease this adsorption which can lead to weakened bones.
Since being exposed to the sun can lead to all types of skin problems, sometimes we do not get enough vitamin D. Therefore, we have to consume it in a supplement form. Let’s now see how vitamin D supplements can help heal leaky gut.
Recent studies suggest that vitamin D can reduce inflammation and heal your gut. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to help maintain intestinal integrity, which helps to prevent leaky gut syndrome.
In a study conducted on mice, the role of vitamin D on leaky gut was tested. Mice were divided into vitamin D sufficient and vitamin D insufficient groups. All of the mice were put on a special diet to see the effects of vitamin D on leaky gut. Serum zonulin was tested as a marker for leaky gut.
The study showed that vitamin D deficiency can lead to a loss of barrier characteristics. It is believed that enough vitamin D will keep the intestinal epithelial barrier intact and prevent mucosal barrier malfunction. In the future, vitamin D supplementation could be used as part of a therapeutic strategy for human autoimmune and infectious disorders with a leaky gut.
L-glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally found in our body and it is found in certain foods. One of the main roles of L-glutamine is to provide energy for intestinal cells, thus keeping them strong. Because glutamine is the preferred source of energy for enterocytes and colonocytes, it is considered the most critical nutrient for treating ‘leaky gut syndrome.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo trial 80 participants were recruited. Participants were divided into two groups: one that received enteral formula plus 0.3 g/kg/day glutamine powder and the other group received isocaloric enteral formula plus maltodextrin. During a 10-day period, enteral glutamine dramatically lowered plasma zonulin content by up to 40%. When compared to the placebo group, this reduction was much larger.
IgYmax is a new compound made with immunized egg powder that promotes healthy digestive function. This compound promotes :
- Healing of the gut barrier
- Reduces harmful bacteria
- Reduces inflammation
- Promotes the binding of good bacteria to the gut lining
The effects of IgY Max on three measures of gut integrity are investigated in a new study by IgY Nutrition:
- Zonulin, a marker of mucosal permeability
- Diamine Oxidase (DAO), a marker of inflammatory management
- Histamine, a marker of inflammation.
A decrease in gas and bloating, as well as having more energy, were reported by participants. The presence of Zonulin was reduced by 95%, indicating a reduction in gut wall permeability.
Improve Your Stress Management
Stress is an inevitable part of life. However, if we stress too much too often it can cause damage to our body – one of them being a leaky gut syndrome. When we are under stress a hormone called cortisol is released.
Cortisol will send certain signals to our body to either stop or start producing something. When this signal reaches the digestive system it will tell it to slow down, thus decreasing the ability to digest food. This results in a leaky gut, as the cells of the gut lining become less healthy.
Therefore, to help heal your leaky gut it is best to avoid stressful situations. Try to manage your stress by doing yoga, exercising (but don’t overdo it since stressful and strenuous exercise can worsen your leaky gut), mediation, or anything that relaxes you.
The leaky gut syndrome can be very uncomfortable and decrease your mood drastically. If you experience the above mentioned symptoms it is best to visit your physician to get some advice.
However, generally try to avoid inflammatory foods, strenuous exercise, and anything that may add stress. Furthermore, try digestive supplements such as probiotics, prebiotics, vitamin D, etc. to heal your gut faster.
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