With the growing awareness around the profound impact that gut health has on systemic health, gut targeted supplements have become all the craze. But with the overwhelming variety of supplements on the market today, which of them are actually worth investing in?
Commonly found in either gut health powders or on its own, L-glutamine is the hero of all gut health supplements. L-glutamine is the most plentiful amino acid within the body that your intestinal lining uses as a fuel to create a strong surface for digestion and absorption.
It has become well known due to its ability to heal the barrier of the gastrointestinal lining which is particularly beneficial for individuals who suffer from intestinal hyperpermeability, also known as “leaky gut”. The health of our gut wall is imperative to overall gut health as it helps to keep inflammation at bay, support nutrient absorption and transportation, and eliminate the “bad guys” such as pathogens and other toxins.
There are both animal-derived and plant-derived L-glutamine supplements.
Collagen is the main structural protein found in the body’s connective tissue. It acts as the main building block for your skin, gut, tendons and more. It plays a major role in maintaining the elasticity of the gastrointestinal wall, which supports the integrity of the gut and protects itself from pathogens and other toxins. Similarly to L-glutamine, it plays an important role in repairing and rebuilding the gut wall due to its amino acid structure.
Collagen supplements are derived from either marine or bovine sources.
Colostrum is a powerful supplement made from the milky fluid that is released from cow’s udders shortly after they have given birth. It is comprised of beneficial proteins, fats, commensal bacteria (ie. lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains), enzymes, minerals and more. Moreover, it is rich in disease fighting compounds and can help repair a damaged gut lining. In turn, colostrum can reduce one’s exposure to pathogens and other toxins, decrease inflammation, and enhance the microbiome.
BPC-157 is a peptide chain made up of 15 amino acids found in the stomach and it can help to treat inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions. It possesses cytoprotection properties which is the ability to protect the gastrointestinal tract against injury or damage to the tissues. Therefore, BPC-157 can help protect and restore the gut, and it is particularly beneficial for those who have ulcers or erosions within the gut wall.
When it comes to gut health, our microbiome is at the forefront of the discussion. Our microbiome is not only connected to the health of our gut, but also to our mind, skin and hormones.
For those who experience gastrointestinal issues, it is common for them to have dysbiosis or an imbalanced microbiome. What this means is that there is a higher level of bad bacteria compared to good bacteria within the gut. When this imbalance is present, it can cause several gut symptoms such as bloating, inflammation, a change in bowel motions, and appetite. Moreover, it can impact one's mood, cause inflammatory skin conditions and interrupt hormonal metabolism.
In order to maximize the benefits of any supplement, we always recommend consuming a nutrient-dense, whole food diet and avoiding processed, inflammatory foods.