So, you think or have been told, that you might have symptoms of a "Leaky Gut" or "Increased Intestinal Permeability" (maybe even read my blog "Are you suffering from a "Leaky Gut").And you are wondering: what could be done, could you start healing yourself, or need to run to see a doctor. Unfortunately, the majority of the mainstream physicians still do not accept the role of the gut in our overall health, besides nutrition.
Start healing yourself!
Yes, we do need to maintain a healthy strong gut barrier to prevent and manage various chronic health conditions and as to improve our well-being.
In fact, it is far easier to maintain and protect a healthy gut with a healthy diet and lifestyle choices than to fix a broken one. It requires a multi-faceted approach.
Protecting the gut from toxins, allergens, infections, and other elements that trigger an inflammatory reaction and damage the epithelial barrier is vital, and a healthy food selection plays a critical role in this process. Every day we are faced with the choice to eat foods that heal and protect the gut versus those that damage it.
As the building blocks of all cells, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies and other tissue components, protein is vital for maintaining a healthy gut barrier.
Amino acid like l-glutamine is well-known for its ability to reduce intestinal permeability.
Animal proteins, including bone broth, grass-fed whey protein, grass-fed beef and bison, as well as free-range poultry, wild-caught fish and seafood are the highest dietary sources of l-glutamine.
Dietary fats play a key role in protecting the epithelial barrier of the gut by modulating the gut microbiota and also through their influence on the inflammatory pathways.
Diet rich in high saturated fat and trans fats have often been associated with increased intestinal permeability due to increased bile acid secretion.
A diet that includes a moderate amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids improves both the gut microbiota and inflammation.
Even saturated fats can have a positive effect on the gut if they are sourced from plants or grass-fed animals. Conjugated gamma linoleic acid (GLA) is the unique omega-6 fatty acid supplied by a grass-based diet and it is proven to reduce intestinal permeability, bacterial translocation, and bio-markers of inflammatory response.
Carbohydrates are among the most influential dietary components that can either destroy or heal the gut.
Sugar, sugar substitutes, refined grains (including gluten-free substitutes), and gluten (in susceptible individuals) - all provide the substrates necessary for the growth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria, leading to dysbiosis and damage of the intestinal lining. Even in individuals without celiac disease, gluten has still been observed to trigger a transient release of zonulin, which increases intestinal permeability, leading to "leaky gut".
Whole foods such as vegetables and fruits should comprise the majority of the carbohydrates in a gut-healthy diet. "Rainbow diet", that consists of variety of colorful vegetables and fruits offer a range of phytonutrients and antioxidants that help battle the oxidative stress which threatens the health of intestinal villi. Additionally, many vegetables such as okra, slippery elm, marshmallow root and others have mucilaginous properties which help to protect the mucosal gut barrier. Various fruits such as berries possess soluble fibers that encourage the growth of a healthy microbiome.
Unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, tempeh, and kefir provide naturally occurring probiotics and prebiotics in abundance and help to restore gut microbiome.
Dietary choices that foster a balanced microbiome, modulate the inflammatory response, and provide necessary substrates for villi growth will ensure a healthy intestinal barrier with tight junctions and prevent " leaky gut".
And never forget to correct the other lifestyle factors:
Chronic stress has been shown to harm beneficial gut bacteria. Activities like meditation, relaxation, biofeedback, or yoga can help.
Cigarette smoke is a risk factor for several bowel conditions and may increase inflammation in the digestive tract. Quitting smoking can raise healthy bacteria numbers and reduce harmful gut bacteria.
Lack of sleep can cause poor distribution of healthy gut bacteria, possibly resulting in increased intestinal permeability.
Excessive alcohol intake may increase intestinal permeability by interacting with certain proteins.
Lack of exercise contributes to unhealthy microbiota, oxidative stress and increased intestinal permeability.
For more information on how you can improve your health using lifestyle modifications please make an appointment with Dr. Koganski by calling 215-750-7000, or online https://NewtownInternalMedicine.com
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