nutrition

10 Supplements to Help Your Leaky Gut, Backed by Science

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

7 min read

Leaky gut syndrome can lead to a number of health problems. Fortunately, there are supplements that can help address the condition and help your gut heal.

What is a leaky gut?

Your intestinal lining is an important part of the health of your gut. In short, it determines which substances get to pass through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream, and which substances do not. When your gut is healthy, the intestinal lining helps keep harmful substances out of the bloodstream.

When you have increased intestinal permeability – sometimes called “leaky gut syndrome” – those harmful substances can tend to leak through the intestinal wall. Leaky gut syndrome can lead to a number of health problems and conditions.

If you are experiencing leaky gut syndrome, be encouraged: There are many supplements that can help. And even beyond a supplement routine, you can manage a leaky gut with some slight lifestyle adjustments.

Symptoms of a leaky gut

An occasional stomach ache isn’t anything to worry about. But if you start to notice that your stomach is upset with some regularity, you may want to look into whether you’ve got leaky gut syndrome. Some frequent symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive issues

Of course, there are many conditions that can cause these symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of them, you should talk to your doctor. Further tests may be necessary to determine the condition and the possible treatment. To determine whether you have leaky gut syndrome, your doctor will likely want to perform an assessment of your intestinal permeability, as well as a test of any food sensitivities.

Do supplements help with a leaky gut?

Yes, there is much research to suggest that certain supplements can help repair leaky gut. However, the benefits offered by supplements are greatly enhanced when paired with other lifestyle changes.

The most effective way of repairing leaky gut syndrome is through lifestyle changes. These can improve gut health and sustain it over the long haul. Diet is of the utmost importance, and making sure you consume a diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables can work wonders for the good bacteria in your gut. Staying hydrated can also go a long way toward improving your leaky gut.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the supplements that can support your healing process.

10 supplements that may help your leaky gut

Zinc

Zinc is a popular supplement, best known for its immune system support. It’s also a necessary element for many of your body’s metabolic processes. Research has shown that zinc supplementation can support the tight junctions of the intestinal lining, which helps reduce gut permeability.

L-glutamine

L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, and it’s also used to create other amino acids. When it comes to treating leaky gut syndrome, it could be that L-glutamine is the most important nutrient because of its demonstrated benefits in the digestive tract.

Furthermore, studies show L-glutamine has been shown to fuel enterocytes, or intestinal cells. L-glutamine may also help regulate the function of your intestinal barrier during periods of stress. Low levels of L-glutamine concentration have been associated with disruptions to the intestinal barrier. One recent study even found that a low dose of L-glutamine could improve intestinal permeability for people who have just engaged in strenuous exercise.

Collagen peptides

Collagen is a very important protein, found in virtually every tissue in your body. It may also be helpful for treating leaky gut syndrome. When you’re thinking of collagen supplementation, your best bet is collagen peptides, which are the most bioavailable and easy-to-digest form of collagen.

One study showed that collagen peptides helped reduce further dysfunction in the intestinal lining, strengthening it so as to prevent additional breakdown.

Furthermore, another study found that gelatin tannate – a supplement that contains collagen – found that collagen can be beneficial for gut health.

Probiotics

Probiotics are a popular supplement for supporting gut health. They are living microorganisms that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. The health of the gut microbiome has a broad impact on the health of the rest of your body.

In one study that examined the effects of probiotics on gut health, researchers tested the benefits of a probiotic supplement on people who had just engaged in intense exercise. The study showed that probiotics may manage zonulin, a common marker of gut leakage. Those who took the probiotics displayed levels of zonulin that were significantly lower than that of the control group. You might want to check out Care/of’s probiotic blend, which has been shown to support gut health.

Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes, like those offered by Care/of, help break down dairy, fiber, fats, and protein. As a result, they can help your body to properly digest the food you eat, thereby relieving gas, indigestion, and other digestive issues.

Fiber

When it comes to gut health, you can’t go wrong with incorporating more fiber into your diet. Fiber supports the creation of good bacteria in your gut and promotes healthy bowel movements. It’s also available in supplement form, such as within Care/of’s Chia-Flax supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports your body’s health in a number ways. It supports the immune system, and recent studies have shown that higher intakes of vitamin D are associated with healthier gut microbiomes. Vitamin D supplementation can also help heal and strengthen the lining of your gut.

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is a popular supplement that’s been increasingly used to support digestive health. The DGL root has been shown to protect the function of the intestinal barrier. It does so, in part, by supporting the tight junctions of the intestinal lining, which can help reduce permeability.

Curcumin

Curcumin is a phytonutrient that you can find in many spices, the most notable of which is turmeric. Turmeric’s health benefits are all due to the fact that it contains curcumin. Although curcumin itself has low bioavailability, when absorbed it largely goes to your gastrointestinal tract. Studies show that curcumin helps manage the intestinal barrier, as well as managing issues that can harm the barrier.

Berberine

Berberine is a plant-based compound that may also help address leaky gut. It’s an alkaloid with antioxidant properties and it’s been historically used to treat problems in the digestive system. Berberine’s antioxidant properties can help manage a health balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome. A recent animal study involving rats found that berberine supplementation can support intestinal health. Other recent studies have yielded promising results regarding berberine’s health benefits.

Other options to help your leaky gut

In addition to potentially incorporating the supplements listed above, there are other lifestyle-related steps you can take to treat leaky gut. For example, you can start to cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume, since excessive alcohol consumption can create problems for your gut health. You should likewise consider cutting back on high sugar and highly processed foods, since these are known to be harmful for your gut. You also can’t underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep and staying hydrated.

Moreover, you can take some proactive steps in improving your diet, making sure to eat more foods that are rich in fiber. Consuming some probiotics on a daily basis can also support the health of your gut, which can in turn support your overall health.

When to seek medical attention

As mentioned above, an occasional stomach ache isn’t something to worry about. However, if problems persist, you may want to seek medical attention. You should also be on the lookout for bloody stools, persistent changes in bowel movements, and experiences of fever or severe pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Final takeaways

If you’re struggling with a leaky gut, you don’t need to be discouraged. There are some supplements you can add to your routine that can help support your gut health. These supplements include:

  • Zinc
  • L-glutamine
  • Collagen peptides
  • Probiotics
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin D
  • Deglycyrrhized licorice
  • Curcumin (found in turmeric)
  • Berberine

Be on the lookout for leaky gut symptoms. If you experience them and they persist, talk to a medical professional about a treatment plan; that way, you can see if any of these supplements are right for you. If you’re interested, Care/of offers a complete gut care package – dubbed “Gut Musts” – that includes some of the options mentioned above.

You can also start to address your gut issues with some lifestyle adjustments involving sleep, hydration, and diet.

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