The Best Supplements for Leaky Gut
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As mentioned in my article about Leaky Gut, there are several supplements that can aid in the healing of a leaky gut. Today I’d like to take a deeper dive into these supplements and the function they have in the body. This way you can understand why a certain supplement may be useful or is prescribed by a therapist. Keep reading for the best supplements for leaky gut!
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The Best Supplements for Leaky Gut
Supplements can aid your body’s ability to heal itself and they can help prevent or fill up deficiencies. This way your body has all the nutrients it needs to repair itself. Some supplements provide fuel for the intestinal cells or the healthy bacteria in your gut. Those are the ones that can help heal your leaky gut!
If you have (or think you have) leaky gut. Always talk to your doctor, a dietitian, or other therapist. They can help you in your journey to healing.
Do you think you have leaky gut and would you like guidance from a specialized dietitian? Schedule an online consultation at my online dietitian practice Darm diëtist, and I will help you with all your questions!
DPP-IV enzymes are usually produced in the intestines. It is essential for the breakdown of food proteins that contain Proline. Proline is present in for example gluten and caseïne (milk). If these proteins are not broken down properly the exorfins that are present will build up in the gut, and this can lead to endorfine resistance and a disruption of the function of dopamine, insulin and cortisol.
A shortage of DPP-IV will result in impaired food digestion and a build-up of these exorfins. With leaky gut, this can lead to symptoms, since the gut is also letting through these particles in the bloodstream.
An example of this supplement is Gluten Digest from NOW.
Digestive enzymes help the body to break down food. Your body naturally produces digestive enzymes in your pancreas. The body then ‘stores’ the digestive juices in the gallbladder. Ready for use when food comes into the intestine.
If your body does not produce enough digestive enzymes or they fail to properly digest the food for you, then it’s hard on your digestive tract. This can lead to unease in the gut because the bacteria that are present there, will digest it for you. This will result in more gas and can irritate/inflame your gut.
Proper digestion helps keep a healthy gut environment and a healthy gut.
An example of a enzyme supplement is Super Enzymes from NOW.
Glutamine is an amino-acid that is used for a wide variety of functions in the body. Related to Leaky Gut, glutamine is linked to faster intestinal repair, alleviate intestinal injury and it can contribute to the overall maintenance of intestinal function and structure. Apart from that, glutamine has been linked to a reduction in intestinal permeability in athletes who are performing in the heat, and thus under stress.
Glutamine is the main source of energy for your epithelial cells (your intestinal cells). Usually, your body is perfectly capable of producing glutamine, but certain circumstances can cause a deficiency. Deficiencies are mostly seen in relation to stress, infections, fasting, and heavy exercise.
Supplementation of glutamine can help the intestinal cells to get the fuel they need to heal and reproduce. This can help in healing the leaky gut.
An example of a glutamine supplement is Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine Muscle Recovery Capsules.
A prebiotic is the food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut.
The body can’t break down prebiotics. They travel through the digestive tract unaffected. Once they arrive in the large intestine, your gut bacteria will break them down (fermentation). They live off this fermentation, and as a nice byproduct, they produce nutrients for you like vitamin K and Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). This source of nutrition can help your beneficial gut bacteria to thrive in your gut. In turn, these beneficial bacteria will protect your gut against harmful intruders like bad bacteria, fungi and yeasts. If you want to read more about prebiotics, check the article I wrote about it.
Leaky gut is often paired with dysbiosis. In dysbiosis the gut is out of balance, having negative effects on the health of your intestine. Prebiotics can help to heal the dysbiosis.
Prebiotics are found in dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates (oligosaccharides), phytochemicals and certain fatty acids. For a more extensive explanation, check my article about prebiotics.
As it might sound similar, probiotics are vastly different from prebiotics. The prebiotics are the food. The probiotics are the bacteria itself. Taking a probiotic supplement can aid the repair of your healthy gut microbiome.
Having the added healthy gut bacteria from the supplement will help your own gut bacteria to get the upper hand over harmful bacteria. If you want to read more about how to choose a probiotic supplement that matches you, check my article about probiotics.
Curcuma or turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces oxidative stress in the body and has shown to hinder the inflammatory pathway that leads to the opening of the tight junctions in leaky gut.
Turmeric can either be used in cooking or be taken as a supplement. Turmeric itself has very poor bioavailability. Combining it with pepper is improving its absorption.
An example of a curcuma supplement with pepper (bioperine) is Amazing India Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine.
Vitamin D supports the immune system and a vitamin D deficiency has been shown to elevate inflammatory markers. Prolonged inflammation can lead to leaky gut. Fixing a vitamin D deficiency can be a first step to healing leaky gut.
An example of a vitamin D supplement is NOW Supplements, Vitamin D-3 2,000 IU.
Stress and oxidative stress in the body can promote inflammation. Inflammation can cause leaky gut. Omega-3 has been shown to reduce inflammation, and can help reduce the cause of leaky gut. Omega-3 can either be found in fatty fish or can be taken in supplement form if you don’t like fatty fish.
An example of an omega-3 supplement is Omega-3 Wild Alaskan Fish Oil.
What have you done to heal your leaky gut? Let me know your story in the comments below!
Hi there, I’m Manon.
In my daily life I work as a registered dietitian in the Netherlands with a special interest in gut health.
During my workday I get loads of questions about healthy food, recipes and lifestyle to make it a little easier to get healthy. On Positive Gut I collect my best recommendations, tips and recipes to make your healthy lifestyle a little easier!