What is a Leaky Gut?

A leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome is a condition that is caused by an increase in intestinal permeability. In all this, your intestinal lining acts as a barrier between the bloodstream and the gut in order to prevent any potentially harmful substances from crossing over from the gut into the bloodstream. [1] [2]

There are small gaps or tight junctions present in your intestines that allow nutrients and water to pass into your bloodstream to get absorbed. How easily these nutrients and water pass through the intestinal walls is referred to as intestinal permeability. 

There are certain health conditions, such as leaky gut syndrome, that cause these tight junctions to become loose, allowing harmful substances like toxins, harmful substances, and even undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. The various health problems that occur due to this are collectively known as leaky gut syndrome. [3] 

However, there is little evidence actually to prove that leaky gut syndrome even exists. As a result of this, many mainstream doctors do not recognize leaky gut syndrome as a medical diagnosis. Though increased intestinal permeability exists and is known to be a symptom of many diseases, it is still not clear whether this is only a symptom or whether it is the actual underlying cause of many chronic diseases. [4]

See: Leaky gut syndrome, symptoms, and best diet

Howto heal leaky gut?

How to fix Leaky Gut?

Even though the cause of leaky gut is not known, there are many ways to fix leaky gut. Here are some simple steps one can follow that can help with a leaky gut cure. 


1. Stop having foods that damage the intestinal lining

Legumes, grains, and many processed and refined foods can be challenging to digest. They also promote perforations or holes in the intestines. This includes foods such as:

● Bread

● Pasta

● Oats

● Cookies

● Crackers

● Brown rice

It is essential to reduce or eliminate the consumption of these foods for some time, at a minimum, to allow your intestinal lining to heal.

 

2. Eliminate any gut damaging toxins and other factors 

If you are wondering how to heal leaky gut syndrome fast, then the first step to take is to eliminate any gut damaging foods you might be having, even without knowing. 

There are certain foods, medications, and lifestyle choices you make that have been shown to contribute to a leaky gut. Stated below are some of the things you should eliminate, or at least reduce, from your diet:

● NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - These are medications that relieve or reduce pain. The most popular examples of NSAIDs include Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac, Oxaprozin, Motrin, and Aleve. 

● Food sensitivities - Have thorough testing done to determine which foods you are allergic or sensitive to. Eliminating these will help you heal leaky gut. 

● Alcohol

● Chronic stress

● Strenuous exercise

● Gluten - Gluten should be avoided even for people who do not have celiac disease. A study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2015 found that gluten increases the potential of intestinal permeability in all individuals. [5]


3. Boost the consumption of collagen

Collagen consists of many amino acids, including proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline. Your body requires these amino acids to repair and rebuild the lining of your gut. So when you regularly consume collagen-containing foods such as bone broth, collagen powders, and gelatin, they can help you heal and also prevent leaky gut. Studies by the College of Food Science and Engineering in China have found that supplemental collagen peptides can help strengthen the gut barrier, reducing its permeability and helping it retain more nutrients from food. So eating foods that boost your body's collagen production, such as broccoli, citrus fruits, eggs, sunflower seeds, and mushrooms, can all help boost the body's natural collagen levels. [6]

See: Buttermilk as Ayurvedic medicine

Foods for healing leaky gut syndrome

Foods to Avoid & Foods to Have for Leaky Gut

Apart from following the above recommendations, here are some foods to avoid and foods to include in your diet to help cure and prevent the leaky gut syndrome. Let's take a look:

 

Foods to avoid:

●       Gluten-containing grains such as rye, barley, seitan, bulgur, triticale, and oats

●       Wheat-based products: pasta, bread, cereals, wheat flour, couscous, etc.

●       Baked foods: muffins, cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, and pizza

●       Snack foods: Crackers, muesli bars, pretzels, popcorn, etc. 

●       Processed meats: deli meats, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, etc.

●       Junk foods: Potato chips, fast foods, sugary cereals, candy bars, etc. 

●       Dairy products: Cheeses, milk, and ice cream

●       Artificial sweeteners: Sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin

●       Refined oils: Sunflower, canola, soybean, safflower oils

●       Sauces: Salad dressings, soy, teriyaki, and hoisin sauce

●       Beverages: Carbonated beverages, alcohol, other sugary drinks

 

Foods to include:

●       Fermented vegetables: Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh

●       Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, arugula, kale, eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, ginger, zucchini, and Swiss chard

●       Roots and tubers: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, yams, squash, and turnips

●       Fruits: grapes, coconut, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, mandarin, oranges, lemon, limes, papaya, and passionfruit

●       Gluten-free grains: amaranth, buckwheat, sorghum, and gluten-free oats

●       Healthy fats: Avocado, coconut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil

●       Meats and eggs: Lean cuts of chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, eggs

●       Fish: Tuna, salmon, herring, and any other omega-3 rich fish

●       Herbs and spices: all herbs and spices can be beneficial for leaky gut

●       Beverages: Teas, bone broth, coconut milk, water, nut milk, and kombucha

●       Cultured dairy products: Yogurt, kefir, Greek yogurt, and traditional buttermilk

●       Nuts: Raw nuts such as peanuts, almonds, and any nut-based products such as nut milk

 

See: Ayurvedic herbs for detoxification

Summary

Increased intestinal permeability is the cause of the leaky gut syndrome. The leaky gut makes it possible for toxins, bacteria, and undigested food particles to pass through the gaps that have developed in the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream.  However, many doctors only view leaky gut syndrome as a hypothetical condition and not a real medical diagnosis because there is little evidence to show that increased intestinal permeability can be considered to be a severe health problem.  There are specific measures one can take to heal a leaky gut, and the first step begins with avoiding processed and refined junk foods.  You can also limit the use of NSAID drugs, take a probiotic supplement, reduce your stress limits, avoid alcohol, and ensure that you get a good night's sleep to cure the leaky gut syndrome. 

See: Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Health Benefits

References

1. Schneeman, B.O., 2002. Gastrointestinal physiology and functions. British journal of nutrition, 88(S2), pp.S159-S163.

2. Li, C., Gao, M., Zhang, W., Chen, C., Zhou, F., Hu, Z. and Zeng, C., 2016. Zonulin regulates intestinal permeability and facilitates enteric bacteria permeation in coronary artery disease. Scientific reports, 6, p.29142.

3. Mu, Q., Kirby, J., Reilly, C.M. and Luo, X.M., 2017. Leaky gut as a danger signal for autoimmune diseases. Frontiers in immunology, 8, p.598.

4. Fasano, A., 2012. Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. Clinical reviews in allergy & immunology, 42(1), pp.71-78.

5. Hollon, J., Puppa, E., Greenwald, B., Goldberg, E., Guerrerio, A. and Fasano, A., 2015. Effect of gliadin on permeability of intestinal biopsy explants from celiac disease patients and patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Nutrients, 7(3), pp.1565-1576.

6. Chen, Q., Chen, O., Martins, I.M., Hou, H., Zhao, X., Blumberg, J.B. and Li, B., 2017. Collagen peptides ameliorate intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction in immunostimulatory Caco-2 cell monolayers via enhancing tight junctions. Food & function, 8(3), pp.1144-1151.


See: How To Manage Fibro Fog Or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email