Thursday, 28 May 2015

8 Tips To Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome or increased intestinal permeability as it is known can be a major contributor to many chronic health problems and diseases.

Increased intestinal permeability allows partially digested food proteins, toxins, yeast, parasites and other bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which normally wouldn’t. This can lead to allergic reactions, which places a massive stress on the adrenal glands, liver and the immune system as a whole.

It is not surprising with the havoc leaky gut causes, that it has been implicated as a possible cause in a number of serious health conditions, including auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome/me, food allergies, skin conditions such as eczema, sinusitis, periodontal(gum) and even heart disease.

Intestinal permeability is mediated by adrenal hormones such as cortisol, so if the adrenal glands aren’t functioning optimally, you can expect an increased risk of leaky gut syndrome. There is a well known connection between stress and gut problems, so care must be taken to reduce stress and support the adrenal glands.

The root cause of leaky gut is inflammation in the intestine, which increases the permeability. Systemic inflammation plays a role in many health conditions and many of the tips in this article will help to maintain a healthy inflammatory state within the body.

Causes Of Leaky Gut Syndrome

There are many causes of increased intestinal permeability aka leaky gut syndrome, one of the most common is with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory(NSAIDs) drugs.

Another common factor that increases the risk of leaky gut is the over-use of anti-biotic medications, which can alter the balance of the gut flora and promote tissue-penetrating opportunistic pathogens such as candida overgrowth.

Studies have shown that alcohol can increase intestinal permeability, especially with heavy drinking.  A recent study showed that even a single binge drinking session can cause irreparable damage to the gut lining and a whole host of chronic issues as a result.  Something to keep in mind with how popular binge drinking has become in our culture.

Chronic emotional stress and poor diets are other common causes of leaky gut syndrome and digestive problems in general.

Leaky Gut Syndrome Cure Tips

1. Bovine Colostrum

Colostrum is the perfect superfood for supporting digestive health and is an excellent choice in any leaky gut syndrome treatment plan.  Colostrum is the first milk, which is produced by mammals (including humans) in late pregnancy.  The colostrum we are referring to here is from Bovine source and is a popular supplement.
Colostrum is packed with proline-rich peptides, immune and growth factors, which are brilliant for healing the intestinal lining and reducing inflammation within the gut.

Multiple studies show that colostrum can help to reduce intestinal permeability(leaky gut) and has potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Colostrum is also effective for boosting the immune system and has localized anti-microbial activity on bad bacteria, candida albicans, intestinal parasites and other opportunistic microbes which can contribute to leaky gut syndrome.

My favorite brand of Colostrum is from a company called Surthrival, they have excellent quality, free of anti-biotics, hormones and is true 6 hour third party verified.  For more information or to purchase check Natu Health at – Colostrum Supplements

2. Bone Broth

Bone broth is packed with nutrients which heal the gut lining and support the digestive system such as collagen, gelatin, amino acids such as proline and glycine, glycosaminoglycans, easily digestible minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silicon, zinc, sulfur, potassium and sodium.
Bone broth is the stock liquid made from simmering meat bones for extended periods of time(4-48hours). 

Bone broth is also a great natural source of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as Glucosamine, Hyaluronic acid and Chondroitin Sulfate, which are popular ingredients in many joint health supplements.

This resulting delicious liquid is rich in many nutrients that are important for maintaining gut and joint health.

3. Licorice Root

Licorice root is a wonderful “adaptogenic” herb, which helps to support the adrenal glands and has potent steroidal anti-inflammatory properties. Tackling inflammation is a vital component to treating leaky gut syndrome.

Adaptogenic herbs also help to increase the bodies resistance to stress and have a non-specific normalizing action on the body.

DGL stands for De-Glycyrrhizinated Licorice, which is a type of licorice supplement, although it is of no use for leaky gut support because the steroidal anti-inflammatory components have been removed.

Licorice root has the ability to raise blood pressure with high doses and long term use, as such it is essential to seek proper guidance from a qualified practitioner, when adding any herbs or supplements to your lifestyle.

Yucca root is another herb which can help by reducing intestinal inflammation, killing candida albicans, boosting the immune system and building up the adrenal glands.

4. Supporting The Gut Flora

Supporting the gut flora is another essential component of any leaky gut recovery program. 
Imbalances in the gut flora can cause opportunistic pathogens such as candida albicans, parasites and bad bacteria to take over, all of which contribute to increased intestinal permeability and overall poor intestinal health.

Probiotics are helpful for reducing intestinal inflammation and repopulating the gut flora. Fermented foods such as kefir, raw sauerkraut, kombucha and cultured veggies are some of my favorite choices and are all rich sources of beneficial bacteria.

Prescript-Assist is a powerful soil based probiotic/prebiotic supplement, which is backed by peer reviewed, clinical studies proving its efficiency for restoring the balance of the gastro-intestinal microflora.

Prebiotics are also very important for supporting healthy balance of the gut flora. Indigestible prebiotic fibers are what feed and stimulate the activity of the beneficial gut bacteria.

Diets low in prebiotics significantly contribute to the development of digestive disorders such as leaky gut syndrome. Good sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, rice bran and for an over the counter supplement Bimuno is one of my favorite choices.

5.  L-Glutamine

The amino acid L-Glutamine is one of the most popular treatments for leaky gut syndrome and studies show that nutritional depletion can result in increased intestinal permeability.

Whey protein is an excellent source of the amino acid glutamine and doesn’t only help to prevent leaky gut syndrome, but offers many more health benefits such as increasing levels of the master antioxidant glutathione.

One study showed multiple benefits in regard to L-Glutamine and leaky gut syndrome. [1]

Major abnormalities in IP have been demonstrated in glutamine-deprived rat pups. Furthermore, glutamine has been shown to maintain transepithelial resistance and to reduce permeability in intestinal cell culture monolayers. In addition, glutamine supplementation has been shown to increase intestinal barrier function in malnourished children.
Several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of glutamine on IP. For example, improvements in the intestinal barrier have been shown in experimental biliary obstruction, after ischemia/reperfusion and even in severe clinical situations, such as in critically ill patients, in whom glutamine lowered the frequency of infections following abdominal surgery. Furthermore, in IBD treatment, the use of glutamine alone or in combination with other amino acids is considered promising.

6.  Anti-Inflammatory

As discussed above inflammation is typically the root cause of increased intestinal permeability(leaky gut) and diet as always plays a massive role in maintaining a healthy inflammatory state within the body.

A diet rich in colorful plant foods provides much protection against chronic diseases and supplies many anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant phyto-nutrients.

Sardines are an excellent food choice for most individuals with leaky gut syndrome and provide a rich food source of the potent anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA.
Standard diets are often too low in omega-3 fatty acids, whilst being excessively rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats.  Vegetable oils and other n-6 rich foods should be reduced or eliminated from the diet. 

Many individuals have problems converting Omega 3 fats from plant sources to the longer chain derivatives EPA and DHA, which is where the benefits of Omega 3 fats lie. So if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, then supplementation with the full EPA/DHA forms may be recommended.

Zinc deficiency has been linked to the development of leaky gut syndrome and studies show that zinc supplementation can reduce intestinal permeability. [2]

Our findings show that zinc supplementation can resolve permeability alterations in patients with Crohn’s disease in remission. Improving intestinal barrier function may contribute to reduce the risk of relapse in Crohn’s disease.

7.  Reduce Stress

The link between stress and gut health shouldn’t be under-estimated, lots of research has discovered a link between emotional health and a healthy digestive system.

One of the best methods for reducing stress in my opinion is with meditation, another is by practicing slow controlled deep breathing exercises, which is one of the few voluntary ways to switch off the sympathetic nervous system.

Those who are stressed or worried over-use the sympathetic “fight or flight” branch of their nervous system, which can inhibit and slow digestion.  Stress has also shown in studies to upset the balance of the gut flora, which as discussed above is a very important part of maintaining a healthy digestive system and optimal microbial balance within the gut.

As briefly explained above the adrenal glands mediate intestinal permeability by controlling inflammation within the body.  Its actually a catch 22 situation where sub-optimal adrenal gland function can be a major cause of leaky gut, but can also be a result of increased intestinal permeability.

When partially digested food proteins and other toxins enter the blood stream, where they normally wouldn’t it can lead to allergic reactions, this places a massive stress on the adrenal glands.  Leaky gut syndrome and sub-optimal adrenal gland function are thus the basis for the development of auto-immune diseases.

8.  Turmeric/Curcumin For Leaky Gut Syndrome

Turmeric root is a wonderful healing spice with a rich golden color that has shown in many studies to be of remarkable benefit in fighting inflammation and decreasing oxidative stress.
Controlling inflammation is a vital factor in the treatment of leaky gut syndrome. 
Curcumin is considered to be one of the main active components of Turmeric root and where it derives many of its health benefits according to studies.  However curcumin is typically poorly absorbed on its own, which can significantly limit its therapeutic potential.

There are a few ways to increase the bio-availability of curcumin, one is by bonding it with phosphatidylcholine as is seen with the supplement CurcuminX4000.  Two studies have shown that CurcuminX4000 is significantly better absorbed than a standardized curcumin extract.

Another benefit to turmeric root is the ability to support detoxification primarily through the liver and increasing bile flow.  Supporting the detoxification pathways is a very important aspect to any leaky gut syndrome treatment plan, as increased intestinal permeability has the potential to overwhelm and significantly stress the liver and detoxification system.

For more information or to purchase CurcuminX4000 visit Natu Health Store at – CurcuminX4000 Capsules


[1] – Possible Links between Intestinal Permeablity and Food Processing: A Potential Therapeutic Niche for Glutamine.

[2] – Zinc supplementation tightens “leaky gut” in Crohn’s disease.

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