Scientific Research Behind Leaky Gut Supplements
Several research studies have scientifically-backed the health benefits of the supplements for leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease.
The ingredients used in the formulation of these supplements have been found to have positive effects on nutrient absorption, intestinal permeability , and the number of gut bacteria present. These can also prevent other diseases, such as celiac disease, Crohns disease, and many food allergies.
Let us take the marshmallow root, for example. A study by NCBI found that this root directly connects with systemic inflammation. In another set of studies, Amino acids like La-Glutamine have also been found to have healing effects in cases of intestinal diseases.
Recent studies also back other ingredients like aloe vera, magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants by the NCBI that can help improve intestinal health. This also determines that there is proper scientific backing for formulating the supplements for leaky gut.
Chew Each Bite Of Food 20 Times Like Gandhi
Chew your drink and drink your food, Gandhi.
Taking a digestive enzyme supplement will help breakdown your food when it reaches your stomach and intestines. And I think you should definitely take them I know I do.
But to really give your gut a helping hand , you should basically pulverize your food in your mouth by chewing each bite around 20 times.
The more you chew the more it gets pre-broken down and the more digestive enzymes you yourself produce via your saliva glands85.
By chewing your food like this, youll find your gut is better able to process it. Most of all, your body will be able to absorb more of the nutrition86and your leaky gut will not be bombarded by so many large undigested food particles.
And of course, 20 chews per bite of food is just a rough average. So if youre eating something really tough, like Uncle Bobs well done steak , then up the chew count, eg to 30.
Not Doing An Elimination Diet
If youre working to fix leaky gut, youve presumably cut out triggering foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, and all packaged and processed foods. However, if youre still struggling with leaky gut symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome or chronic fatigue, you could be dealing with undiagnosed food sensitivity.
Its crucial for anyone working to fix leaky gut to do an elimination diet to rule out hidden food intolerances, or serious food allergies. If you have symptoms such as bloating and constipation, brain fog, or joint pain that seem to mysteriously come and go, chances are that you have a food sensitivity or allergy and could benefit from going on an elimination diet. For additional support, enroll in my Leaky Gut Breakthrough® Program to receive resources for leaky gut treatment such as a symptom checker, shopping guide, and easy-to-follow meal plans to fix leaky gut.
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Heres How Digestive Enzymes Can Help
Firstly, they work alongside our bodys own natural enzymes to take the food we eat and break it down into individual nutrients that our body can then actually absorb27.
Example of nutrients in foods would be things like amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. All the fuel our body loves!
This role is super important for those of us with leaky gut, because our damaged gut lining is potentially not absorbing nutrients properly, and yet needs the nutrients to repair itself. i.e. digestive enzymes can help us get out of the vicious cycle.
Secondly, by helping us break down food better, digestive enzymes also ensure less large food molecules make their way through our gut. This is a big win since it means less irritation of the gut lining, as well as fewer large food molecules making their way through our gut barrier and into the bloodstream .
You can find an in-depth explanation of all of this in my article on digestive enzymes and leaky gut.
Why Do We Need To Nurture And Heal A Leaky Gut
The gut is integral to our vitality, energy and happiness and its not possible to be truly healthy if our gut is unhappy. Leaky gut is one of the main reasons we experience all sorts of health concerns, from bloating and digestive discomfort to brain fog, autoimmunity and skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. Luckily, we can address this at home without too much effort!
In the modern world, we often do not think of our gut when we experience skin issues, energy slumps, or low mood – but we should!
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Channel Your Inner Dalai Lama And Cut Work Stress Out Of Your Life
For the majority of us, our main source of stress is work.
And as we know, chronic stress is one of the top 5 causes of leaky gut, because it has a crippling effect on digestion and in general makes it very hard for your body to fight off the bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth causing leaky gut.
Not to mention the inflammation that flares up because of leaky gut.
Foods And Supplements To Heal Leaky Gut
Fixing a leaky gut involves many of the solutions weve discussed in the other steps, including:
- Use this free Joint Pain Root Cause Finder worksheet to figure out whats behind your symptoms.
- Add probiotic foods at each meal, such as yogurt, fermented sauerkraut , kimchi, kombucha, kefir, Kevita, fermented vegetables and salsa, raw dairy, etc. Also, a probiotic supplement with a high potency and many strains of beneficial bacteria might be helpful.
- Clear infections. Bad microbes will prevent your gut from healing. I like to use a broad-spectrum herbal antimicrobial that can kill not only the bad bacteria, but also fungus and parasites. It usually takes several rounds and I like to switch the herbal formula up every month or so Access my free Microbiome Balancing Supplement Protocol on Fullscript.
- Eliminate foods that your immune system is reacting to because of leaky gut. If you dont remove those foods, you will cause major inflammation and damage to your gut every time you eat them. Dont worry, once youve healed you can eat most foods again without a problem! More on this next!
- Removing things from life that are damaging your gut like stress, processed foods, infections, toxins, antibiotics or medications
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Eating Too Many Raw Vegetables
While its true that vegetables are good for your gut, too many raw vegetables could slow the progress of your leaky gut treatment. This is because digesting raw vegetables takes a lot of work, and if youre short on digestive enzymes, raw veggies can contribute to bloating gas, and other kinds of GI discomfort. Instead, focus on cooked vegetables while trying to fix leaky gut.
Another option to fix leaky gut is to drink juice or smoothies, as the vegetables are already broken down in a way that makes their nutrients easier for your body to digest and absorb.
Try A Pre/probiotic Combo
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed beneficial bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote healthy gut flora. Together, they make for a powerful duo.
The benefits of both prebiotics and probiotics are numerous. Prebiotics boost the growth of friendly bacteria while probiotics fight bad bacteria.
They also support normal immune function, balance hormone production, and prevent infections.
The most common forms of prebiotics are oligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides . Both are plant-derived carbohydrates that stimulate the growth of good bacteria.
A combination of FOS and OS is known as synbiotics. Synbiotics have been used successfully to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome , inflammatory bowel disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Synbiotics may also benefit people who suffer from leaky gut syndrome.
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Some Cooking Notes For This Recipe
- Make sure to run your fermenting jar through the dishwasher before using it a hot wash will help remove any bacteria that could interfere with the fermentation.
- For starter culture, you can use a vegetable or dairy based one. I tend to personally opt for the former. Each sachet will likely have a couple of grams of culture. And come with instructions on how to prep it, before adding it to the jar.
- Your kraut can be stored for more than the 2 week period mentioned in the graphic. In fact, unopened, you could keep it for 6-9 months easily.
- But once you open your kraut, keep it in the fridge, and for max 2 months.
P.S. If you ever get sick of eating fermented vegetables then consider a probiotic supplement and of course, just be thankful you dont have to resort to a fecal transplant to restore your gut flora!
Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth :
SIBO is such a broad subject that Id need an entire course to discuss it.
SIBO is the result of an overgrowth of healthy or pathogenic microbes in the small intestine. It can be a result of an inflammatory, high-carbohydrate diet, recurrent constipation, as well as a history of antibiotic or anti-fungal use.
The usual suspects of H. pylori & Candida are often involved too. Surprisingly, healthy bacteria such as Lactobacilli can also become overgrown in SIBO. SIBO presents alongside leaky gut & mucosal dysfunction.
Does your probiotic contain Lactobacilli strains? You may want to take a break from it in the short-term if you suspect SIBO.
SIBO is promote, in part, by poor motility in the gut.
When food does not move through the gut efficiently, your gut will ferment the food earlier in the gut leading to gas and bloating where it is not expected. This can cause both constipation and diarrhea as well as stomach pain, distention & excessive burping or gas.
Once SIBO is present, certain starches and fibers in healthy food can potentiate it.
SIBO treatment can involve specialized diets & you must time strategies appropriately as performing steps too early or too fast can lead to SIBO relapse.
Individuals with SIBO go through a period of killing off both good & bad bacteria & followed by a period of slowly adding back the good bacteria as inflammation calms.
For a deeper SIBO discussion, check out my collection of SIBO articles.
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Leaky Gut Diet Sample Menu
Based on the recommendations above regarding the best and worst leaky gut foods, here is what a few days of meals might look like when following a leaky gut diet plan:
- Breakfast: avocado on sprouted grain toast topped with sauerkraut and tomatoes
- Lunch: salad topped with sliced grass-fed steak and cooked or cultured veggies
- Dinner: stir-fry made with mixed veggies and protein of our choice
- Breakfast: yogurt parfait made with plain yogurt, chia seeds and berries
- Lunch: cooked fish, such as salmon, with steamed veggies topped with olive oil
- Dinner: seared chicken served with a mixed salad or vegetable soup
- Breakfast: smoothie made with coconut milk, kefir or raw milk, sprouted almond butter and collagen protein powder
- Lunch: chicken salad made with yogurt and avocado, served with veggies or salad
- Dinner: steak or fish served with vegetable soup
Avoid All Grains And Legumes For The Next Month
Life without any grains or legumes whatsoever can be tough. Whenever you plan a meal that is just meat/fish and vegetables it can feel like something is missing.
But if youre suffering from leaky gut and are really motivated to repair it fast, then leaving grains and legumes off the table, at least temporarily, is a no brainer. Especially GMO grains, which by design are the highest in anti-nutrients like lectins7,8.
Now, I will say, most grains & legumes dont quite irritate the gut lining as bad as those with gluten , but they are still loaded with anti-nutrients like lectins and phytates9,10, which your digestive system simply cant necessarily handle when it is in already poor shape.
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Our #1 Pick For The Best Leaky Gut Supplement: Leaky Gut Revive By Amy Myers Md
- Most well rounded supplement for healing leaky gut
- Proven to help with digestive health issues like constipation, bloating, gas, indigestion, and IBS
- Highly rated nearly perfect 5 star rating and over 315 reviews
- Third-party tested and verified
- Great taste Easily dissolves in water or smoothies
- Trusted brand name
Amy Myers MD Leaky Gut Revive got our #1 spot and for good reasonthis stuff is amazing.
If you are looking for a supplement to restore your gut lining and help with symptoms like constipation, bloating, gas, indigestion, and IBS, Leaky Gut Revive from Amy Myers MD, is the one to go with.
And with nearly a nearly perfect 5 star rating and over 313 reviews, a ton of people agree with us.
Unlike other supplement options, Leaky Gut Revive is developed by a real doctor who understands how the gut works and how to repair it.
It includes a mix of ingredients that are great for our gut and have the research to back it:
- L-glutamine: Beneficial for nourishing your gut cells
- Aloe extract: Restores your guts mucosal lining
- Licorice extract: Soothes your stomach and intestinal lining
- Larch arabinogalactan: Is a biopolymer that improves your guts flora and gut-mending fatty acid production
- Slippery elm and marshmallow root: Finalize your gut repair and mucous membrane health.
Dr. Amy Myera explains how Leaky Gut Revive works and the science that backs it up in this video here:
Avoid Eating Any Foods That Are Processed Or Filled With Preservatives Or Flavoring
I think we all know that saying goodbye to foods high in refined flours and sugars, low in nutrients and filled with chemicals, will help our gut health improve.
But I also understand that saying adios to these and hello to a diet focused on real whole foods is not a cheap exercise. But to be honest, it all comes down to what value you put on your health.
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What Is A Leaky Gut
Leaky gut sounds quite serious but it can be avoided and managed and even reversed and healed. It is experienced when the epithelial cell junctions in the gut become loose, or in other words, there are gaps in the gut lining that create leaking. An epithelial cell wall makes up the gut lining that divides the inside and outside of your gut.
Gaps in the gut lining results in half-digested foods and larger proteins making their way out of the small intestine and into the bloodstream. Because this isnt supposed to happen, once theyre in the bloodstream, the immune system tags these foods as invaders, telling the immune system that theyre akin to a virus or bug which results in an immune and inflammatory response.
Make Sure You Have Enough Zinc And Digestive Enzymes
Zinc is a superhero of nutrients thats involved in over 200 enzyme pathways in our body. In relation to leaky gut, it allows the stomach to produce stomach acid, which helps us to break down foods for absorption and at the same time has the ability to strengthen the gut lining.
Oysters are the number one source of zinc. You can also find zinc in raw milk, lamb, maple syrup, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and beef.
Our ability to absorb zinc is also zinc dependent, so if were already depleted it can be incredibly difficult to get back to optimal with our diet alone. In these instances, adding in a quality zinc supplement to your routine is a great decision.
A quick and easy way to improve your digestive enzymes is also adding in warm water and lemon juice before you eat or a shot of apple cider vinegar. If this isnt your thing, a quality digestive enzyme supplement is an easy alternative.
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You May Also Be Interested In:
1. Bischoff SC. Gut health: A new objective in medicine? BMC Med. 2011 9. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-24
2. Tindle J, Tadi P. Neuroanatomy, Parasympathetic Nervous System PubMed. StatPearls 2020.
3. Ahn-Jarvis JH, Piancino MG. Chapter 14: Impact of oral health on diet/nutrition. In: Monographs in Oral Science. Vol 28. S. Karger AG 2019:134-147. doi:10.1159/000455383
4. Testing_Low_Stomach_Acidity.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2021. https://www.ifnacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Testing_Low_Stomach_Acidity.pdf
5. Cavalcoli F, Zilli A, Conte D, Massironi S. Micronutrient deficiencies in patients with chronic atrophic autoimmune gastritis: A review. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 23:563-572. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i4.563
6. Guilliams TG, Drake LE. Meal-Time Supplementation with Betaine HCl for Functional Hypochlorhydria: What is the Evidence? Integr Med Encinitas Calif. 2020 19:32-36.
7. Bruno G, Zaccari P, Rocco G, et al. Proton pump inhibitors and dysbiosis: Current knowledge and aspects to be clarified. World J Gastroenterol. 2019 25:2706-2719. doi:10.3748/wjg.v25.i22.2706
8. Jung SB, Nagaraja V, Kapur A, Eslick GD. Association between vitamin B12 deficiency and long-term use of acid-lowering agents: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Intern Med J. 2015 45:409-416. doi:10.1111/imj.12697
9. McColl KEL. Effect of proton pump inhibitors on vitamins and iron. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 104 Suppl 2:S5-9. doi:10.1038/ajg.2009.45
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The Importance Of Gut Health And 5 Steps To Start Healing A Leaky Gut
Youve probably heard the saying, you are what you eat.
In functional medicine, we take it a step further. You are what you eat, absorb, and do or do not eliminate.
Your gut isnt just for digesting food, though. It performs many functions critical to your well-being. And in recent years, scientists have identified leaky gut syndrome as a possible root cause for many chronic illnesses.
Good gut health is more than simply taking a probiotic supplement. In fact, the wrong probiotics could cause more harm than good. In this article, well look at what a leaky gut is, its causes, and the five steps to healing it.
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