3 Tips to Patch Up a Leaky Gut

Published on May 16, 2017 by Dr. NavNirat Nibber

A leak in your ship never ends well, the same goes for your gut. Lets look at how chronic inflammation can cause some "cracks" in the cells of your gut, leading to major issues.

Inflammation in the Digestive Tract

Chronic inflammation in the gut from food sensitivities, infections, or allergies can start a vicious cycle that promotes a "leaky gut" which further allows more food proteins to irritate and sensitize immune cells. Leaky gut is a term used to describe the intestinal wall no longer doing its job in preventing unwanted substances from entering the body. 

   As larger food molecules and proteins can enter the bloodstream or tissues and cause the immune system to attack them as if they were a bacteria or virus.

The most common food allergens are dairy products, soy, corn, eggs, oranges, beef, pork, and gluten/wheat also part of this infamous group. There are a number of natural options that facilitate in healing the digestive lining and offset the effects of the allergic inflammation.

L-Glutamine & Leaky Gut

This conditionally essential (meaning sometimes you need to get it from your diet) amino acid, that is the primary fuel source for the cells lining your intestinal wall (enterocytes). It works with other with other amino acids, such as leucine and arginine, to maintain integrity and function by decreasing inflammation, enhancing antioxidant protection and restoring the tight junctions between enterocytes. A central characteristic of glutamine is that it becomes seriously depleted during the course of catabolic stress such as injury, infection, or even strenuous exercise. L-glutamine supplementation has been shown to improve symptoms in conditions with increased intestinal permeability such as Crohn's disease, food sensitivities, infections, dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria), postoperative inflammation, and other gastrointestinal conditions.

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Extract

Most people do not have an over secretion of acid. The cause in most cases is a breakdown in the integrity of the intestinal lining. While drugs like Zantac® and Tagamet® can block symptoms and promote temporary healing, they don’t address the underlying cause. DGL addresses the underlying factors and promotes true healing. Rather than inhibit the release of acid, licorice stimulates the normal defense mechanisms that protect the gastrointestinal lining. The whole extract improves both the quantity and the quality of the protective substances which line the intestinal tract, increases the lifespan of intestinal cells, and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining.


Zinc is important for the functioning of the immune system and for the production of sex hormones, among many other important processes that occur in the body. Zinc-carnosine helps to heal the cells lining the gut that have been damaged either by H. pylori, stomach acids or harsh pharmaceuticals all along the digestive tract. Due to the fact that zinc-carnosine has the ability to up-regulate key antioxidant enzymes thereby preventing free radicals from damaging cells. Studies have confirmed that zinc-carnosine has anti-ulcer properties prevents the development of H. pylori related gastritis that can also increase risks for intestinal cell damage.

So there you have it, patch up your gut and quench that inflammation!

  • Teresa Ausborn

    Why Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Extract? Why not straight Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)? This should be explained.

    Should L-Glutamine be taken with Leucine and Arginine, since they are referenced? And, then, would that not cause quite a bit of nervous system agitation?

    What exactly is Zinc-Carnosine? And, how is H. Pylori related to *regular, everyday Leaky Gut* whicih is not in the stomach?

    • NavNirat Nibber

      Good Afternoon Teresa,
      Thank you for your excellent questions. With regards to your first question, the deglycrrhizinated licorice has glycerrhizinic and glycerrhetinic acids removed. These compounds are responsible for blood pressure increasing effects associated with licorice. By removing them we still see benefits to soothing the GI tract without the concern of elevating blood pressure, this is important for individuals who may already have high blood pressure.
      In regards to your point about combining supplementation of glutamine, leucine and arginine are commonly combined as part of athletic endurance protocols. Adverse reactions are rarely reported with this combination- given proper kidney and liver function to support clearance. That being said considerations about an individuals diet and baseline status ( ie. are they stressed, nutrient depleted etc.) need to be assessed to optimise benefits.
      Finally, you are correct H.pylori infection is most common in gastric ( stomach) mucosa. The inflammation resulting ( gastritis) can be a significant risk factor to the development of the intestinal blunting that happens in leaky gut. Further, zinc carnosine is effective at healing a number of different types of inflammatory mediated cell damage- including both H.pylori mediated as well as autoimmune mediated in the small intestine. WE updated the article to clarify that.
      Thank you again for your insightful comments.