8 Supplements To Heal A Leaky Gut
While the first step in this healing process is unquestionably to change your dietary habits in order to stop any further damage to your gut. Taking the following eight supplements can be very beneficial in aiding in and speeding up the recovery process of healing of a leaky gut.
Our gut is full of “good”and friendly bacteria that help us properly break down and digest our food. They help keep our gut in check and prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from overgrowth. Unfortunately, these friendly bacteria can be depleted and disrupted by taking antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, eating a poor diet, and many other factors. Taking a highly concentrated dose (25-100 billion units a day) of probiotics on a daily basis can help you regain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is fundamental to the well-being of the digestive and immune systems. Glutamine is great for repairing damage to the gut, helping the gut lining to regrow and repair, undoing the damage caused by leaky gut, and reducing sugar cravings. I recommend 3-5 grams a day.
3. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are plant or microbial-based supplements that support the breakdown, absorption, and utilization of macronutrients. Taken with meals, they work with the body’s own reduced supply of enzymes to achieve maximum digestion and support intestinal repair mechanisms.
4. Betaine Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
Betaine hydrochloride (HCL) promotes optimal gastric acidity for support of protein digestion and absorption of minerals and other nutrients such as vitamin B12. There is simple at home test you can do to see if you have low stomach acid and are in need of HCL replacement. Begin to eat a meal and ⅓ of the way into your meal take 650 mg of HCL and then finish your meal. If you experience heartburn, you have sufficient levels of HCL. If you do not experience any burning sensation in your upper abdomen, then you likely would benefit from HCL at each meal.
5. Slippery Elm
It might have kind of a strange name, but slippery elm has been used as an effective gut healer for centuries in the United States. This supplement both contains mucilage and stimulates nerve endings in the body’s intestinal tract to increase natural mucus secretion, which is an instrumental part of the stomach’s protective lining and helps combat ulcers and excessive acidity in the digestive system. It also contains important antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel symptoms.
6. 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 an elevation in blood pressure. DGL supports the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum.
7. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is a multipurpose supplement that can be used for respiratory or digestive relief. Like slippery elm, it contains a high mucilage content. It eases the inflammation in the stomach lining, heals ulcers, and treats both diarrhea and constipation by creating a protective lining on the digestive tract.
8. Caprylic Acid
Caprylic Acid, also known as octanoic acid, is a naturally occurring fatty acid that comes from coconut oil. Calcium and magnesium caprylates act as buffers, and may also help slow the dispersion and release of caprylic acid to support its activity throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Caprylic acid is known for it’s antiviral and antifungal activity. For those who feel that you may be suffering from Candida or yeast overgrowth this is a safe, effective and natural way to treat Candida.
I frequently get asked how long it will take to heal a leaky gut. That of course varies from person to person and depends on how the gut became leaky in the first place. Typically, I find that when one follows my 4R Program for healing a leaky gut and adds in the above supplements, it should be about a three-month process.
Amy Myers, M.D. is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally acclaimed functional medicine physician who specializes in empowering those with autoimmune, thyroid, and digestive issues to take back their health and reverse their condition.
Dr. Myers graduated cum laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina and served 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. She earned her medical degree at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and completed her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Maryland. After her own experience with Graves’ disease, she studied at the Institute for Functional Medicine and opened her world-renowned clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served patients who were also failed by conventional medicine for over a decade.
In 2017, she founded Amy Myers MD®, an e-commerce health and wellness brand that has become a popular and respected resource for people seeking to get to the root of their health issues, find solutions, and take back control of their health. Her programs and supplements serve the health needs of hundreds of thousands of people in 60 countries around the globe.