Leaky Gut is that scary problem in which your gut walls are allowing anything and everything into your body. See, your gut is this hollow tube that is meant to keep the stuff that is outside your body from getting inside your body. That means there’s an unchecked flow of particles that should stay outside of the body floating around inside of you. Your immune system hates this. It reacts violently to get rid of these invaders.
What does that cause?
For starters, it could be the reason you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Food Sensitivities
- Post Nasal Drip
- Skin Problems
- Brain Fog
Seems impossible, but researchers are showing that intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) is related to almost every disease of western civilization, including diseases you might not expect like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis , celiac disease, asthma, IBS, and Hashimotos Thyroiditis .
Even though Leaky Gut Syndrome was discovered in the 1980’s, modern medicine is behind the curve with their adoption of new research. That might not shock you, but it is a good reminder that we are ultimately in charge of our own health.
It’s our responsibility to be knowledgeable, ask the right questions, and when needed, take our health into our own hands, especially when it comes to our kids.
So, when it comes to a problem like Leaky Gut, that is literally affecting millions upon millions of people with all kind of diseases, where does one start? Well, the first step is diet related. Since you are reading this, I’m pretty confident that you’re eating a real food diet, and that’s the first start. There are, of course, many small changes that you can make to that diet that will dramatically help someone with Leaky Gut, but I’ll cover more on that later.
The next step is to look toward some supplements that can help repair the gut lining. This is where L-glutamine comes into the equation.
What is L-Glutamine?
Glutamine is an important amino acid for health. It is important for normal body function in many ways:
- Removes waste like ammonia (which can be very harmful)
- Synthesizes proteins
- Important to gluconeogenesis (a thing your body does to keep blood glucose levels stable)
- Synthesizes nucleic acids (the stuff that makes up your DNA)
Researchers are finding that it plays a critical role in healthy digestion and brain function . Glutamine has been shown in studies to protect against mucosal breakdown in the gut . There are even studies looking into how glutamine can aid in reducing side effects of chemotherapy treatments .
Your gut is made of a delicate tissue called epithelial tissue. Like anything in the body, this tissue requires maintenance. When this tissue breaks down you get Leaky Gut, which can lead to the problems previously mentioned. Researchers are looking into how glutamine can support gut maintenance, claiming that when you are deficient in glutamine, your intestinal tissue suffers and can actually atrophy. Supplementing with glutamine could be a way to avoid this tissue breakdown .
One study puts it this way: “Glutamine has protective effects on intestinal mucosa by decreasing bacteremia and epithelial cell apoptosis, enhancing gut barrier function, and influencing gut immune response” . It’s saying that glutamine can fight against bad gut flora, keep the epithelial cells from dying, and support the immune systems ability to kick butt. That’s pretty awesome stuff.
When our systems encounter high levels of stress (be it physical or emotional) or trauma (i.e. surgery), our need for glutamine ramps up. Under such conditions we use up our body’s natural production of glutamine, and it becomes an essential amino acid that we need to get through diet or supplementation, or our guts may be subject to destruction and permeability.
Should You Supplement With L-Glutamine?
Glutamine supplementation has spread in popularity, it has been used by athletes to recover from hard exercise training. Also, to help with chemotherapy side effects like diarrhea, nerve muscle and joint pain, and to support the immune and digestive systems during such treatment. It’s even been used for irritability, insomnia, depression, ADHD and more.
But we want to spread the word to people who are struggling with more “western diseases” like an autoimmune disorder, adrenal fatigue, or any digestive issues. It’s very possible that if you have these issues, glutamine could help you, or more so your gut. Chances are if you are having any or some of the above issues, you also have Leaky Gut and need to support it.
It’s clear that when your body is broken down from disease, stress, or not functioning perfectly, L-glutamine may be a really important nutrient for you to supplement with.
In people who have Leaky Gut we’ve seen great results from using L-glutamine at doses ranging from 5g to 40g spread out through the day with food. If you decide to supplement with it, ramp up slowly to the dose you and your medical provider agree on. Most studies use between 10g and 40g per day.
If you’d like to learn more about leaky gut, including some simple signs that you have it and what diet to eat if you do, please come join Katie and me on a free informational webinar on Leaky Gut here.
Have you ever struggled with leaky gut? Ever tried L-glutamine? Share below!