Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition that causes gaps in the intestinal walls — allowing harmful bacteria to pass into the bloodstream.
Leaky gut syndrome is a bit controversial in the medical world, as many healthcare professionals do not recognize it as a diagnosable condition. It is still unclear whether leaky gut syndrome is a cause or a symptom of other conditions, such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and food allergies, among others.
No matter how you decide to classify it, suffering from digestive issues can be debilitating and you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your gut healthy.
To help out, we’ve compiled the best science-backed advice for healing a leaky gut, after consulting with our own Nutrition Experts here at hundred, as well as multiple outside professionals.
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Best supplements for healing a leaky gut
Probiotics are proven to help bolster digestive health in a number of ways. Probiotics can:
- Prevent and counteract intestinal permeability
- Protect the gut wall lining from toxins, infections, and allergens
- Strengthen the epithelial tight junctions
- Stabilize the gut barrier
- Restore the natural balance of gut bacteria
Regularly consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir is one way to help boost your gut’s probiotic population.
If you have a leaky gut, taking a high-dose probiotics supplement could be very beneficial to getting your digestive health back on track. Look for a supplement that includes prebiotics as well — these help feed the good bacteria in your gut, helping them multiply and thrive.
Our Pre/Probiotic supplement contains 15 billion CFU of L. acidophilus in a specially designed plant cellulose capsule that ensures living bacteria remain inactive until they reach the gut.
Curcumin — the main active component in turmeric — is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that can help manage leaky gut syndrome in a variety of ways.
Research shows that Curcumin improves intestinal barrier function by tightening spaces between cells, and reducing gut permeability as a result.
Curcumin also relaxes the intestinal muscles, allowing food to pass through easier without causing damage to the wall lining.
Consuming Turmeric promotes Probiotic growth as well. In one study, for example, participants who took Curcumin supplements experienced an increase of gut flora diversity by 7%, while the placebo group experienced a decrease of 15%.
And if you experience stomach pain from a leaky gut, Curcumin can help with that too. Curcumin promotes the production of stomach mucous, which protects your digestive tract from harmful gastric acid.
All these factors combined make Curcumin one of the very best leaky gut supplements out there.
Our liquid Curcumin capsules contain NovaSOL® Curcumin technology, which leads to faster absorption and higher bioavailability — in fact, our supplements are 185x more bioavailable than the native Turmeric form.
Collagen serves many vital functions, from providing your skin with structure to strengthening your bones. While Collagen supplements are most widely consumed to improve skin health and relieve joint pain, some medical professionals say Collagen can also help treat leaky gut syndrome.
Collagen has strong repairing abilities, which may help facilitate the growth and repair of damaged intestine walls. Just like Collagen can help give structure to your skin, it may also provide structure to your insides as well.
No official studies have been published specifically proving this theory, however. That said, Collagen is considered a supplement with very few health risks, and most modern-day diets don’t provide nearly enough of it, so trying out a supplement likely couldn’t hurt.
More expert tips for healing a leaky gut
Replace inflammatory foods with nourishing ones
In general, those suffering from leaky gut should reduce or remove inflammatory foods that could impact your gut flora, such as:
- Processed foods
- High-fat foods
- High-sugar foods
- Foods that may trigger allergies or sensitivities, such as gluten or dairy
“There is some research that points to a correlation between alcohol intake and intestinal permeability. Alcohol seems to promote bacteria that subsequently leads to more intestinal permeability. So, alcohol intake may need to be controlled or avoided if you have gut issues,” explains Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living.
It’s also recommended to reduce your use of NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, as studies have shown these may increase intestinal permeability.
Tobacco smoke may also increase digestive tract inflammation and is a risk factor for several bowel conditions, so if you’re a smoker, you should consider quitting.
According to Dr. Karen Lee, some of the best foods to heal a leaky gut include:
- Bone broth
We also spoke with Emma, aka Lady Alopecia, who has dealt with leaky gut syndrome herself for years, about what she uses to help ease her digestive issues. “Foods like ginger and turmeric can further help to bring down inflammation, while including a lump of fresh aloe vera in your morning juice can help to calm any digestive disorders as a result of inflammation,” she told us.
Take up calming forms of exercise
Research shows that chronic stress can deplete the good gut bacteria in your digestive tract.
To combat stress, Emma also recommends taking up calming forms of exercise:
“If you’ve got problems with inflammation, highly active exercises might be the last thing you need. If you’re flooding the body with cortisol, and your immune system stays in this level of ‘high alert’ — which happens with chronic inflammation — then it’s best to avoid these activities for a while. So swap those high-powered gym workouts with gentle, grounding exercises like yoga or tai chi. Meditation is also a great way to calm the nervous system and boost immunity.”
The bottom line
Suffering from a leaky gut is definitely not a fun experience — but through changes in diet, lifestyle, and adding in some helpful supplements along the way, it is possible to heal your digestive system and get relief.
If you’re still not sure which supplements are best for healing a leaky gut, take our free consultation quiz to see which vitamins and supplements we recommend specifically for your unique needs.
Once you sign up, don’t forget you can always receive free digital support from our Nutrition Experts at any time.