Leaky gut syndrome can wreak havoc on your gut, but the story doesn’t end there. The damage can often be reversed with simple lifestyle changes. Improving your diet and adding the right supplements can prevent further damage and jump-start the recovery process, putting you on the right path for a healthier tomorrow.
If you’re already taking steps to reduce suffering caused by gluten intolerance, candida overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome or something similar, these 12 supplements may help.
Our gut is full of good bacteria that helps our bodies break down and digest food. During digestion, good bacteria keeps the gut in check by preventing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, good bacteria can be depleted by poor diets, antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications and many other factors. Taking a concentrated dose (25-100 billion units a day) of probiotics every day can help you maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Fiber helps good bacteria thrive in your gut. This is why a fiber-rich diet is so important. Foods like sprouted chia seeds, sprouted flaxseeds and sprouted hemp seeds are good sources of fiber, but if you have leaky gut syndrome, you may want to reach for fruit and steamed vegetables. They’re still good sources of fiber, but can be easier to digest. If your gut isn’t particularly sensitive, you should aim to get 30-40 grams of fiber every day.
These plant or microbial-based supplements support the breakdown, absorption, and the body’s utilization of macronutrients. When taken with meals, digestive enzymes work with your natural supply of enzymes to aid in digestion and support intestinal repair.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
DGL is an herb that has been used for over 3,000 years in the treatment of digestive issues, including ulcers and indigestion. It’s made from whole licorice, but the manufacturing process includes the removal of glycyrrhizin, which can cause heightened blood pressure. DGL supplements support the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum.
Used for respiratory or digestive relief, marshmallow root is a multipurpose supplement with a high mucilage content. Taking marshmallow root can help alleviate inflammation in the stomach lining, heal ulcers and create a protective lining on the digestive tract to treat diarrhea and constipation.
Also known as octanoic acid, caprylic acid is a fatty acid that comes from coconut oil. Caprylic acid is known for its antiviral and antifungal qualities. Calcium and magnesium caprylates act as buffers, and may also help slow the release of caprylic acid to carry its effects throughout the gastrointestinal tract. For people suffering from Candida or yeast overgrowth this is a safe, natural way to treat Candida.
It might have a strange name, but slippery elm has been used for centuries in the United States. This supplement contains mucilage and stimulates the nerve endings in the intestinal tract to increase natural mucus secretion, which is an instrumental part of the stomach’s protective lining. A healthy stomach lining can prevent ulcers and avoid excessive acidity in the digestive system. Slippery elm also contains important antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel symptoms.
Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL)
HCL promotes optimal gastric acidity, which supports proper protein digestion and the absorption of minerals and other nutrients. There’s a simple test you can do to see if you have low stomach acid. Start by eating a meal. One third of the way through your meal, take 650 mg of HCL. If you experience heartburn, you already have sufficient levels of HCL. If you don’t experience heartburn, then you might benefit from taking HCL at each meal.
This amino acid is fundamental to the well-being of both the digestive and the immune systems. Glutamine helps repair damage caused by leaky gut syndrome, replenishes the gut lining and reduces sugar cravings. The recommended dosage is 3-5 grams every day.
Supplementing with collagen can help boost your gastric juices and aid in restoring the health of your mucosal lining. Collagen also contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which are essential building blocks for repairing damage to the intestinal lining caused by leaky gut syndrome. To experience to benefits of collagen, drink 8-16oz of bone broth daily or take 2 tablespoons of collagen protein twice a day.
Anti-fungal agents like caprylic acid, cellulose, and oil of oregano can help balance your gut bacteria, taking the strain off your intestines as they heal. Try improving the health of your digestive tract before taking anti-fungals for 10-14 days. Following that period, an increased dose of probiotic supplements is recommended. This ensures that you rebuild and maintain optimal gut health.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center researchers, the key to quercetin’s effectiveness is its ability to keep inflammation at bay. It has been known to improve gut barrier function because it helps seal the gut lining, counteracting leaky gut syndrome. Quercetin also acts as an antihistamine and may protect against heart disease and cancer.
When repairing your gut, the first step is changing your lifestyle to include healthier habits—especially when it comes to your diet. Once you change your habits and move towards a more balanced life, these supplements can help expedite the healing process and restore gut health. It’s that simple.
Not sure if you have leaky gut syndrome? Take the leaky gut test!