The following article has been written by Dr. Amy Myers (who I highly recommend you check out her website - she is brilliant) for MindBodyGreen.com.
Have you been suffering from a gluten intolerance, leaky gut, candida overgrowth, parasites, or something similar? Are you trying to repair the havoc wreaked on your 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.
About Amy Myers:
Amy Myers, MD is a renowned leader in Functional Medicine and New York Times Bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution. She received her Doctorate in Medicine from LSU Health Sciences Center and spent 5 years working in emergency medicine before training with the Institute of Functional Medicine. She has helped thousands around the world recover from chronic illness through her dietary-based program, The Myers Way®, and she has created multiple interactive eBooks and eCourses to guide readers through her revolutionary approach to health. Her blog and website serve as a beacon of hope to the many sufferers of chronic disease and autoimmune conditions.
Her book, The Autoimmune Solution, a 30 day program to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of inflammatory symptoms and disease, is now available.
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