Healthy Q & A: Leaky Gut and Probiotics

Q: I think I have leaky gut syndrome.  I’ve been reading a lot about it lately, and it seems to explain the digestive issues I’ve experienced for a long time (gas, bloating, cramping) along with my eczema.  I’d be interested to hear what you think about leaky gut, and what kind of natural things could help.

A:  Leaky gut can be difficult to diagnose, since it usually encompasses a variety of symptoms.  It is defined by the intestines having increased permeability which can be damaging to the body.  The intestines naturally have very small holes, which allow nutrients from the foods we eat to enter the bloodstream, while keeping undigested food in.  The trouble happens when the intestinal lining is compromised, and it begins to allow small food particles to leak out.  
These tiny, undigested food particles are then transported through the body, causing the immune system to react to those “foreign invaders”.  This immune response leads to inflammation throughout the body, and can manifest with digestive symptoms like bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and gas, but also with non digestive issues, like food sensitivities, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, and skin issues like acne and rosacea.

Thankfully, there are supplements which can be helpful for healing this damage and reversing intestinal permeability.  The first and best thing I would recommend are probiotics.  One of the leading causes of leaky gut is an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, too much bad bacteria and not enough of the good bacteria, or probiotics.

There are many, many different strains of probiotics, but one that has been researched with very positive results is the strain Lactobacillus plantarum LP229v.  That specific strain has been shown in scientific research to survive stomach acid and colonize in the intestines.  It has been demonstrated in clinical studies to help with reducing over permeability of the intestines and well as gas and bloating.   That specific strain is also helpful for a number of other digestive issues, including IBS, Crohn’s disease, colitis, as well as other chronic digestive problems.
The company Solgar has two new high potency probiotics with Lactobacillus plantarum LP229v, Probi 20 Billion and Probi 30 Billion.  We have both on sale this month for 25% off.

If you have any digestive issues, I would really recommend giving them a try.  One recent study found an improvement in 95% of IBS patients who took the specific probiotic strain found in Solgar’s Probi 20 and Probi 30.  Every participant who took the LP229v strain of probiotics had a reduction in abdominal pain.  Another study found that the LP229v strain of probiotics reduced intestinal inflammation.

There is a fantastic overview of Lactobacillus plantarum LP229v on the website, linked here.