Natural Supplements for a Healthy Gut
There are a number of potential problems people can experience with their digestive system, but one of the worst is leaky gut syndrome. This condition involves undigested proteins, toxins, and microbes can pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. The junctions between the intestinal wall and blood stream have been damaged but the good news is the damage can be repaired. When these particles are able to enter your blood, they cause system-wide inflammation, which is linked to many serious diseases. Knowing how to repair these leaks is essential to your health.
Left unhealed for a lengthy period of time, leaky gut syndrome of time, it can cause a number of health problems:
- Food sensitivities
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Skin issues such as eczema
- Depression and anxiety
- Nutrient malabsorption
- Adrenal fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
People suffering from leaky gut syndrome are often discouraged when they go to the doctors because physicians often report that leaky gut is difficult to heal and takes a great deal of time. However, there is no need to despair. By making some dietary changes and taking the right supplements, you can fix leaky gut yourself and do it relatively quickly. Specifically, there are ten supplements that are essential to healing leaky gut and have been proven to effectively improve your intestinal health.
Top Supplements for a Healthy Gut
- Probiotics: A high-quality probiotic supplement is essential to healing leaky gut and for your overall gut health. It is important to find a probiotic that works for you because there are several strains and each has different health benefits. For example, some strains enhance immune function whereas others promote hormone balance. You need to be sure you are taking a probiotic for the health need you seek. To get the most effective results, choose a specific bacterial strain rather than just taking an assortment.
When you buy your probiotics, be sure to check the label carefully. You want to know the genus, species, and strain. You also want to know the CFU’s (colony forming units) and to choose a probiotic that contains at least 15 billion CFU’s. Remember that brand quality matters so you are likely to get better results from a trusted brand that uses quality ingredients. Finally, be sure to look out for beneficial strains that have high survivability rates and pick a brand that contains multiple strains.
- Fiber: The reason fiber is so important is because probiotics require fiber to live. Specifically, prebiotics, which are the indigestible fibers that help probiotic bacteria thrive, are the foods to include in your diet. A diet rich in high fiber foods like chia seeds, sprouted flaxseed or hemp seeds can help your leaky gut syndrome by enhancing the probiotics in your gut as well as the ones you take. You can also increase your fiber intake daily by adding more steamed vegetables and fresh fruit to your meal plan.
- Enzymes: Enzymes are responsible for breaking down proteins, complex sugars, and starches, which helps to reduce intestinal inflammation. Ideally, you want to take a full spectrum enzyme supplement that contains protease (for protein breakdown), amylase (for starches), lipase (for fats), and lactase (for lactose in dairy products). The best digestive benefits will be seen when an enzyme supplement is taken before or after your meals, typically one or two capsules will work the best. If you are aware of a gluten or dairy intolerance, then looking for the specific enzyme to help is the best way to heal your gut and improve intestinal health.
- Collagen: Collagen is the main supportive protein that gives bones, cartilage, and tendons their strength. Supplements are usually in powder form and can often be cooked to make gelatin. Adding this to your diet helps to boost production of your gastric juices, which aid in the restoration of the integrity of your mucosal lining. Collagen also contains amino acids (proline and glycine) that are the building blocks of the intestinal wall.
- L-Glutamine: As an essential amino acid, L-glutamine is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This compound holds significant health benefits such as repairing a damaged gut and intestinal wall. The cells that line your gut and are responsible for keeping it healthy use this amino acid as fuel to repair leaky gut syndrome. Most people do not realize that stress depletes your levels of L-glutamine, which leaves you vulnerable to leaky gut, so keeping your intake up can heal and prevent intestinal damage.
- NAG: N-acetyl glucosamine has gained popularity in the medical world because research has shown that it has the ability to protect your stomach and intestinal lining. NAG has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and helps with osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, so daily supplements are sure to promote a healthier and happier gut.
- Quercetin: This compound has the ability to help seal the gut lining by creating tight junction proteins. Leaky gut, along with other digestive troubles, cause these barriers to weaken so quercetin helps to restore the gut barrier function. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, which can help protect against heart disease and cancer, as well as an antihistamine that stabilizes the cells that release histamine.
- HCL with Pepsin: Hydrochloric acid is the main acid that breaks down protein in the stomach. Those suffering from leaky gut syndrome experience low stomach acid levels, which means food is not properly broken down. A condition known as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) also occurs in conjunction with leaky gut because a lack of HCL allows bad bacteria to thrive, taking over the small intestine. HCL supplements with pepsin is used for heartburn and GERD because it helps to restore a healthy HCL balance in the stomach. The restoration of healthy HCL levels helps promote the healing of leaky gut and SIBO.
- DGL Licorice Root: Often used to increase hormone availability, licorice root also helps to alleviate adrenal fatigue because it aids the absorption and metabolism of cortisol. When it comes to the gut, licorice root supports the natural processes for maintaining mucosal lining. It has proven particularly useful when leaky gut has been caused by emotional stress.
- Antifungals: For short term treatment of leaky gut, antifungals such as cellulose and oil of oregano can be used. Leaky gut syndrome is often caused by a bacterial imbalance in the gut which leads to an overgrowth of yeast and candida. The antifungals help to balance the bacteria which removes the strain from your intestines and allows them time to heal.