More About Healing Leaky Gut
This is my fourth newsletter on the subject of leaky gut syndrome. Here, I will offer a few more resources one can use to build a personalized regimen for dealing with this condition.
At the end of the last newsletter I looked at the value of curcumin (turmeric extract) for helping to heal leaky gut, and suggested the use of our Liposomal Curcumin/Resveratrol product, and mentioned that I had discovered that the resveratrol component of this formula also had a role to play in healing this condition.
According to an article titled, “Resveratrol and the gut microbiome: a new prebiotic?”,
“...studies show the potential for resveratrol to have beneficial effects on human health by modifying the gut environment. It can change the relative numbers of different bacteria in the gut. It affects the compounds that the gut microbiome makes, and it helps the large intestine to function properly”.
But, more than that, they claim that resveratrol directly influences the function of the cells lining the large intestine (which in turn, affects the gut microbiome), and thus is of value in healing leaky gut.
In one study, “resveratrol helped protect intestinal cells after they were damaged by a food toxin, and prevented bad bacteria from entering them.” (Study)
In another study, it was discovered that “resveratrol could boost production of proteins in intestinal cells that help prevent leakage of nutrients between cells, and this was related to changes in the gut microbiome”. (Study)
Further to the subject of the gut microbiome, www.naturalpath.net maintains that “prebiotics such as sauerkraut, pickles, and insoluble fiber also support an intact intestinal barrier”.
They also recommend probiotics (especially Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium lactis), for their ability to protect the gut lining. At which point I will suggest Lactospore as an option that serves as a super prebiotic, encouraging the colonization of all good bacteria in the gut.
One of my resources for writing about this condition is Dr. Richard Esquivel. Dr. Esquivel has a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine (MSHNFM), and has extensive training in Functional Blood Chemistry, Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, and Functional Endocrinology and Immunology.
On his website he has a detailed analysis of leaky gut syndrome, along with his recommendations for helping to heal it (a link to his website will follow, at the end of this newsletter).
Dr. Esquivel points out that if anything foreign to the body gets through the gastrointestinal barrier, the immune system kicks in, attempting to eliminate the molecular invaders.
He goes on to state, “If you look at the anatomy of the intestinal lining, it is mostly immune cells with a thin layer of epithelial cells protecting it. If that epithelial layer gets breached, there is no question there will be an inflammatory immune response. So it is no surprise to see systemic inflammation and risk of autoimmunity when there is breach of this thin epithelial lining”.
In the first newsletter on the subject I covered some of the causes of leaky gut, but nonetheless, here I will include Dr. Esquivel’s list of culprits as he has a few not mentioned in my earlier blog.
Causes of Leaky Gut
Diet (refined sugar, wheat, dairy, etc.)
Medication (antibiotics, NSAIDs, etc.)
Infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic)
Hormonal Imbalances (thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, etc.)
Neurologic Issues (stroke, brain injury, etc.)
Metabolic Issues (diabetes, pre-diabetes, etc.)
Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut
One nice thing about the supplements recommended by Dr. Esquivel is that he provides clinical reference points for all of them, confirming scientific validity. Here I will just list those compounds he recommends (a few have been covered previously), but if you wish to examine the actual studies, follow the link to his website.
DGL (deglycyrrhized licorice lozenges)
Aloe leaf extract
Gamma oryzanol (found as a supplement or in rice bran oil)
Slippery elm bark
Marigold flower extract
Dr. Esquivel specifically emphasizes the last two items on this list, indicating their importance by quoting from the studies showing their effectiveness.
“Regarding intestinal permeability, zinc carnosine caused an approximate threefold increase in gut integrity and repair.” (Study)
“VDR (vitamin D receptor) plays a critical role in mucosal barrier homeostasis by preserving the integrity of junction complexes and the healing capacity of the colonic epithelium. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency may compromise the mucosal barrier, leading to increased susceptibility to mucosal damage and increased risk of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).” (Study)
For those actively treating leaky gut, I encourage you to follow the link to Dr. Esquivel’s website, and to read his detailed article on the subject. (Dr. Esquivel’s website)
In addition, these two sites also provide much more material on how to tackle this problem, for those seeking further information:
Natural Medicine Journal: Nutritional Protocol for the Treatment of Intestinal Permeability
Naturalpath: One Molecule That Causes Leaky Gut