Leaky Gut: Help from L-Glutamine
The intestine represents the largest immune system in the human body. Obviously, the whole body suffers when there are disorders. The leaky gut syndrome is increasing worldwide. In our new blog post we present the causes of a leaky gut and show you how the amino acid L-glutamine can help with leaky intestinal mucosa.
What is leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome refers to a “leaky gut” . It is triggered, among other things, by harmful substances, intolerances and a diet rich in sugar and fat. These factors damage the lining of the intestines and make harmful substances easier to get into the body. The symptoms are then expressed in flatulence, intestinal discomfort, fatigue, headaches and a weakened immune system.
If the leaky gut syndrome is not treated, serious illnesses occur. For example, chronic intestinal diseases, allergies and autoimmune diseases are associated with leaky gut syndrome.
Disorders of the intestinal mucosal barrier
The mucous membranes of the digestive tract represent an inner protective barrier of the body to protect it from harmful environmental influences such as bacteria, viruses, toxins and antibiotics. In addition, the intestinal mucosa produces protective substances such as mucus, antibodies such as secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and antimicrobial substances. The sIgA antibody binds harmful substances and thus relieves the intestinal mucosa.
The spaces between the mucous membrane cells are also made up of so-called tight junctions connected to each other. Tight junctions are proteins that seal the gaps and thus prevent pollutants from entering the bloodstream unhindered.
In the leaky gut syndrome, this protective barrier is disrupted. The tight junctions no longer work properly, so that there are gaps between the individual intestinal mucous membrane cells. Furthermore, the production of defensive substances such as sIgA is reduced. The result is that harmful substances pass through the intestinal wall and have been shown to damage the body. The intestinal mucosa becomes thinner and the intestinal flora is disturbed.
Causes of a Leaky Gut
The following causes can change the intestinal flora and thus Increase the permeability of the intestine:
- Unhealthy diet with a lot of sugar, saturated fatty acids and little fiber
- Physical and mental stress
Medicines (especially antibiotics , painkillers and cortisone)
- Infections caused by fungi, viruses and bacteria
- Smoking and alcohol
- Food intolerances such as gluten
Consequences of a leaky gut
With leaky gut harmful substances are released into the blood, which should actually be excreted from the body. Foreign substances trigger defense reactions in the blood. Inflammation can occur in the intestines. Intolerance and allergies can also occur. If the harmful substances resemble the body’s own proteins, autoimmune diseases can develop.
The consequences can include:
- Abdominal discomfort (stomach pain, diarrhea, flatulence , Constipation, bloating, inflammation of the gastric mucosa)
- Dysregulation of the immune system
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Development of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Autoimmune diseases
- impaired nutrient absorption and thus development of deficiency symptoms
The permeability can be reduced by the Lactulose-mannitol test in urine . Zonulin, which regulates intestinal permeability, can be measured in the blood. The stool diagnostics of u. a. Histamine, IgA, calprotectin and alpha-1-antitrypsin are now outdated.
In addition, other factors should be clarified beforehand: for example allergies, enzyme defects, inflammation of the mucous membranes, disorders of the digestive organs, immune defects and intolerances such as lactose.
L-glutamine leads to the regeneration of the intestinal mucosa
L-glutamine is an amino acid that helps regular intake has a positive effect on the intestines. The amino acid provides energy for the regeneration of intestinal cells . Thus, glutamine causes the intestinal mucosa to regenerate faster when damaged. In addition, the amino acid prevents the breakdown of tight junctions , so that the protective barrier is maintained. If there is a glutamine deficiency, fewer tight junctions are formed and the permeability of the intestine increases. In addition, glutamine supports the function of the immune system .
Glutamine can thus reduce the permeability of the intestinal mucosa, maintain the intestinal barrier and relieve inflammation in the intestine.
In situations such as stress, illness or extreme physical performance, the body’s own synthesis of glutamine is not guaranteed and glutamine must be supplemented in particular. This is also shown by a study carried out in 2004 on 20 study participants: 10 subjects received glutamine supplements daily for one week after an abdominal operation. The other group received a placebo. In the placebo group, the glutamine levels in the blood decreased significantly, and the leaky gut test was positive. The group that received the glutamine supplements recovered faster and there were fewer bowel problems.
For people who suffer from leaky gut or generally have problems with a sensitive bowel, a regular intake of L-glutamine .
Also important: an adequate supply of zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamins C, E and A and selenium , because a leaky gut syndrome leads to an increased formation of free radicals.
Help with leaky gut
- Diet change – high in fiber, low in saturated fatty acids and sugar
- If you have intolerance: Avoid these foods
- Supplementation with L-glutamine
- Eliminating nutrient deficits
- Avoiding alcohol, nicotine and unnecessary medication
- Regular exercise
- Drink plenty of carbonated water
- Avoid stress e.g. B. through relaxation exercises
Note: If antibiotics are necessary, then simultaneous use of probiotics or glutamine .