Leaky Gut Syndrome may be the common factor underlying modern health concerns, including autoimmune problems, Fibromyalgia, and intestinal issues such as colon cancer and IBS. Among the many leaky gut supplements on the market, LGUT from Systemic Formulas is one used in my clinic and my online store. I offer a state-of-art lab test for leaky gut from Cyrex Labs, along with a one hour consult to review your results. Find more about the test and consult here.
What is leaky gut?
Humans are built around a self-contained tube that goes from the mouth, through the stomach, and out the intestines. This tube is lined with a fragile mucous and epithelial cell barrier that protects the walls of the colon, stomach or esophagus, and is selectively permeable. Healthy barrier cells allow only safe and fully digested nutrients to pass through into the “other half” of the body – our blood, legs, heart, etc.
When this barrier is injured, it can become infected, inflamed and “leaky”.
The tight junctures holding the epithelial lining together spread open when inflamed, allowing undigested food molecules, bacterial remnants, and waste products to exit the colon into the rest of the body. Molecules of partially digested food (chicken, eggs, etc.) and fecal matter are not normally found in our bloodstream, so the immune system correctly tags and attacks them as “foreign invaders”.
This constant activation of the immune system sets the stage for attacks on the organs and other cells of the body. Hence, autoimmune disorders and a disrupted immune system.
What causes leaky gut?
The primary cause of bacterial imbalance and inflammation in the mucosal barrier is antibiotic overuse. Antibiotics can destroy good bugs as well as bad, and they often leave mutated bacteria behind that confuse the ecosystem even more.
Once this ecosystem is disrupted, parasites, candida and other noxious bacteria can move in. This keeps the inflammatory immune cycle going, and drugs or supplements are needed to try to restore order.
The other chief cause of leaky gut, in my opinion, is modern, hybridized, gluten and gluten grains. No matter how prepared, gluten containing foods are inflammatory and damaging to the gut. Modern wheat is extremely different from its Einkhorn and Emmer ancestors and may not be recognized as anything BUT a “foreign invader”.
I ask all my clients to be on a gluten free Paleo Diet, hopefully permanently. This speeds up healing time and reduces supplement expense, no matter what issue we are dealing with…
Other contributing causes to a damaged gut include chronic stress, NSAID’s, food chemicals, excessive alcohol, and the consumption of starches and sugars which feed yeast.
Can Leaky Gut supplements help?
Repopulating with correct probiotics is one key element. The trick is in choosing the right combo of bacteria. I do extensive muscle-response testing in my clinic and this helps me choose between 6 or 8 different probiotics for a particular client. Most people have to guess.
I chose this Premier Research Labs Probiotic for my online store and I also like Endomune. I am a little cautious about spore-based products. Sensitive people with a history of infection may react to the DNA of certain bacteria and fungi in these products.
L-Glutamine is well known for its effects on colon mucosa. As an amino acid, it must be taken away from food to be effective. Glutamine, probiotics and a Paleo Diet are the starting point….
This product is a new superstar in gut healing. Leaky Gut Mastery (LGUT) contains alanylglutamine, a superior form of glutamine, along with premium quality herbs for infection and mucosal healing. This unique formula combines the best of many other products, including Lion’s Mane Mushroom. My online store is one of the few places to buy this excellent product online.
Antifungal and antibacterial herbs and compounds can help reduce the infectious load in the mucosa, if necessary. There are several sophisticated stool tests that, although expensive, give an in-depth look at bacteria, yeast and inflammatory markers. Here’s Genova’s gut tests to give you an idea.
A good cod liver oil supplement can help reduce inflammation in the body, which helps the gut. The brand I carry in my online store, Rosita, is fresh, raw, and un-fermented. Find it here. Also available in gel caps here.
Bone broth has been studied and used extensively as a gut healer. I keep some in the freezer and use it if I’m feeling unwell, but I used to use it more frequently when I had gut issues. You can find many basic recipes on the web or use these Collagen Peptides (Gelatin) which deliver high doses of Glycine, Proline and Glutamine to help the gut wall heal.
Remember to stay gluten free or grain free as well as sugar free once you feel better. Paleo is a diet for a lifetime and can be adjusted as often as desired.