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The Best Supplements For Treating Leaky Gut

Leaky gut is not an uncommon problem, but the proliferation of misinformation regarding how to effectively treat it is all too common. There are plenty of supplements out there that don’t seem to fix the issue.

Treating leaky gut requires a very unique set of supplements, as well as specific suggestions regarding when to take them and in what amount. The wrong supplement –or the right supplement at the wrong dose level – could end up causing excess gas, bloating, or a proliferation of bad bacteria.

The good news is that when you end up taking the right supplements, it can provide several health benefits, such as improved food digestion, intestinal wall support, and help with our gut bacteria (microbiome).

Photo: Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen

Improved Food Digestion

Supplements can help us break down the food we eat, thereby allowing for better absorption of nutrients. Since food is medicine, this improved absorption can, in turn, help our gut to heal. In addition, improved digestion can help reduce the number of large undigested food molecules entering the small intestine and overloading the GI tract. With less GI irritation, the intestinal wall is strengthened, meaning less permeability issues such as leaky gut.

Photo: Shutterstock/Jose Luis Calv

Intestinal Wall Support and Microbiome Assistance

The gut wall should be permeable (i.e., have small openings or holes) so that good bacteria can come and go freely. But too many holes means that toxins and undigested food molecules can pass through the gut wall as well. When the intestinal lining is sufficiently nutritionally supported, permeability is maintained at a healthy level.

Bacteria can influence digestion, gut wall integrity, and several other functions such as yeast balance. Supporting microbiome function involves taking supplements that increase good bacteria (probiotics) and feeding those bacteria (prebiotics).

Photo: Shutterstock/Elena Eryomenko

Doesn’t Food Provide Enough?

While plenty of the nutrients our body needs come from the food and drinks we take, supplements can be a very useful extra support source, as they’re easier to take than certain foods. For instance, a probiotic supplement pill is a lot easier to take than one bowl of fermented sauerkraut every day. The lack of prep involved, as well as the lack of taste, certainly makes the case for supplements.

Photo: Shutterstock/Natalia Golubny

Best Supplements For Treating Leaky Gut


While all of the following are considered some of the best supplements for treating leaky gut and maintaining optimal gut health, the first three supplements are in a different category than the others as they have the biggest direct impact on gut health and intestinal lining, provide the best value, are the most researched, and are the hardest to get from food sources.

  • L-Glutamine powder – Take 5 grams of this together with a cup of water 1-3 times a day not during meals
  • Digestive enzymes – With each meal, take one capsule of a plant-based broad-spectrum enzyme complex
  • Probiotics – 30-50 billion CFUS with 10-12 quality strains, and delayed-release capsule, per day

The next eight supplements have also been beneficial to take, though they may not be able to be within your budget nor have the time to take them:

  • Prebiotic powder – 2.5-10 grams of low FODMAP prebiotics, such as Acacia Fiber
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – 1,000-2,000 milligrams of omega 3s, such as 2 capsules of triple-strength fish oil
  • Colostrum – 1-3 grams away from meals
  • Collagen protein – 5-20 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides, and try to choose grass-fed collagen that’s higher quality
  • Betaine HCl with pepsin – 500 – 1000 milligrams of HCl with 10-20 milligrams of pepsin and preferably additional 25-50 milligrams of ox bile to support the initial breakdown of protein and fat
  • Demulcent plants – 500 milligrams of DGL licorice, 200 milligrams of slippery elm, 100 milligrams of marshmallow root, 100 milligrams of aloe vera
  • Zinc and magnesium – 10-20 milligrams of zinc; 200-400 milligrams of magnesium
  • Vitamin D with vitamin K – 2,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D3 with 50-100 micrograms of vitamin K2