Probiotics Reduce Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome affects millions of people. And it relates directly to our gut’s microbes. Turns out probiotic supplements can help.
European researchers have determined that supplemental probiotics decrease the incidence of a condition called increased intestinal permeability – also loosely termed by some natural health advocates as ‘leaky gut syndrome.’
In this randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study, 23 healthy men were given either daily probiotic supplementation or a placebo for 14 weeks. Prior to the supplementation period, the men were tested for markers that indicate increased intestinal permeability.
The probiotic supplement had a mix of probiotic species. These included Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis and Lactococcus lactis.
The researchers found that the group taking the probiotic supplements had significantly decreased levels of zonulin in their feces. This means they had reduced levels of intestinal permeability. It also confirms – as other research has indicated – that the probiotics work next to the intestinal wall to help create a healthier intestinal wall, allowing for more appropriate nutrient absorption.
The researchers confirmed this within their conclusion:
“The probiotic treatment decreased zonulin in feces, a marker indicating enhanced gut permeability.”
The researchers also found those who took the probiotics had higher immune system markers. These included the tumor nectrosis factor alpha or TNF-alpha. Other studies have found that probiotics improve athletic performance and recovery times. Other research has found probiotics help reduce body fat.
The researchers also found reductions in symptoms of leaky gut among these athletic men.
Zonulin and leaky gut
These markers included zonulin, a protein that governs the junctions between the intestinal cells. The researchers also tested other factors related to the gut’s immune system and the proper breakdown of nutrients such as fatty acids (without oxidation).
Increased intestinal permeability – or leaky gut syndrome – has been addressed by conventional medicine with skepticism. This well may be the result of the condition name “leaky gut,” as well as the lack of previous research confirming the condition.
This last issue, however, is changing due to the continuing research of scientists who have established that a scientifically-verified condition called increased intestinal permeability is linked to an increase in allergies, asthma, reduced immunity and many other conditions.
Find out more about the science of intestinal permeability and other methods to reverse it:
Lamprecht M, Bogner S, Schippinger G, Steinbauer K, Fankhauser F, Hallstroem S, Schuetz B, Greilberger JF. Probiotic supplementation affects markers of intestinal barrier, oxidation, and inflammation in trained men; a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Sep 20;9(1):45.
Adams C. The Science of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Logical Books, 2014.