What Exactly is Leaky Gut, and What Can Help?

Have you heard the term “leaky gut” and wondered what the heck it is? Don't worry; we're here to help.

First of all, the medical community is divided on whether it's an actual condition. On the other hand, some scientific evidence proves its existence and even links it to several health issues.

Let's take a closer look at this digestive condition, its causes, and how you can improve your gut health.

What Is Leaky Gut, Anyway?

It all starts in the digestive tract, where food is broken down, and nutrients are absorbed.

Essentially, digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine go to town breaking down nutrients into small molecules that your body uses for energy, growth, and repair.

The intestines do double-duty by also protecting your body from harmful bacteria and toxins.[i] Like a digestive traffic cop, the walls of the intestines control what can and cannot enter the bloodstream to pass to your organs.

Awesome, right? It is until those tight junctures of the intestinal walls become loose, making the gut more permeable. This condition, in turn, allows undesirable food particles, bacteria, and toxins to pass directly into the bloodstream. And that’s why it’s called leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky Gut Symptoms and Risks

Scientists suggest that symptoms of this syndrome may include digestive issues, bloating, food sensitivities, and fatigue.

Some believe that a leaky gut may also contribute to several health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and others.[ii] But it isn’t clear if leaky gut is the cause or a symptom of these conditions.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

This is the million-dollar question that many medical experts would like to answer. There are some risk factors that can disrupt the gut microbiota and increase intestinal permeability. These include excessive sugar intake[iii], stress[iv], poor nutrition, and more.

Gut Health Plays a Role

There are millions of bacteria in the gut; some are beneficial, others not so much. Experts believe that when the balance between these two is upset, it can affect the barrier function of the intestinal wall. [v]

How Can You Improve Gut Health?

To recap, leaky gut is not yet an official medical diagnosis. But there is a great deal of evidence suggesting that increased intestinal permeability is real.

Regardless, it’s always a wise idea to mind your gut health by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. There are many suggestions out there for improving your gut health. Here are just a few of our favorites:

    1. Eat Less Sugar
      That sweet tooth is doing your gut no favors, and here's why. Eating tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners may cause an imbalance of gut microbes. It’s known that harmful bacteria thrive on sugar. What’s more, excessive sugar intake may harm gut barrier function. [vi]
    2. Fiber is Your Friend
      That’s right, soluble fiber – found in fruits, veggies, and legumes – can feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.[vii] However, high fiber foods can pose other issues for some folks, and we have advice for that in #4!
    3. Eat Fermented Foods
      To boost the "good" bacteria, try to incorporate fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha into your diet.
    4. Pre and Probiotic + Digestive Enzyme Supplements
      Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health and calm occasional gas, bloating, and irregularity. † Prebiotics work with probiotics to support digestion, aid regularity, and occasional indigestion.† And, then Digestive Enzymes support nutrient absorption and conquer hard-to-digest foods, such as high fiber foods, dairy, protein, etc.†

    Fortunately, Zenwise® offers a comprehensive whole gut support supplement that checks all the boxes. Premium ZenZYMES+™ features digestive enzymes, shelf-stable pre and probiotics, and a proprietary blend of organic botanicals.

    Have questions about ZenZYMES+™ or other digestive supplements in the Zenwise® line? Our customer service team is ready can help at support@zenwise.com or M-F from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST at (800) 940-1972.

    Zenwise. Then Eat.®

    †These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

    [i] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326117#what-is-it

    [ii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S221295881730160X

    [iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4253991/

    [iv] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22314561/

    [v] https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/16-easy-hacks-to-enhance-your-gut-health-every-day-in-2020/

    [vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284805/

    [vii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26757793/

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