Nutrients for a Leaky Gut

My Notes from the Vitamin Summit

An Interview with Dr. David Jockers

Nutrients for a Leaky Gut

There is one hundred times more genetic material in our gut from the microbiome than the genetic material that we get from our parents. Thirty percent of our health outcome can be attributed to our genetics, the rest is from the gut microbiome.

Ninety nine percent of the time antibiotics are unnecessary, we can solve the problem with nutrition, lifestyle, and supplementation. There are microbes in the gut that secrete their own antibiotics. Consuming probiotics, fermented foods, pre-biotic foods are more beneficial than antibiotics. Antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of parasites and yeast, they are not effected by antibiotics, they are kept in check by good bacteria. Antibiotics is like dropping a bomb that kills all the good and bad bacteria.

Chronic infections have killed more people in the history of mankind than anything else. The body has adapted over millennium to be very good at preventing a system infection that kills us. What it does is our body creates inflammation, kind of like an immune storm. When it see’s large food particles and parasites that have leaked through from the gut it believes there is a risk of systemic infection and it creates inflammation. This will effect multiple regions of the body, the brain and developing brain fog when we’re young, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive behavior, chronic irritability, all signs we have inflammation in our brain. It can also cause inflammation of the skin, eczema, psoriasis, it can damage our joints increasing our risk for arthritis and degenerative disk disease. It can also have an autoimmune response and create an antibody to certain proteins and create rheumatoid arthritis. Leaky gut is one of the underlying factors in every autoimmune condition. Many brain dysfunctional disorders or brain degenerative disorders, skin outbreaks, asthma, any kind of chronic conditions that we are dealing with today.

Leaky Gut = Leaky Brain

What we have to do is protect that cell wall, your intestinal wall is just one cell thick. We have to make it strong and reduce the inflammation in the gut and keep the microbiome in a state of harmony and balance. Our diet is a huge factor in causing the leaky gut, three main factors impede our bodies ability to heal and repair. The three stressors are:
1 – Mental emotional stress, high stress hormone reduces an immune factor in our gut called IGA, that protects against bacterial, parasitic and yeast overgrowth. We also won’t heal well because stress hormone is antagonist, the inverse of our healthy hormones. Now we won’t be able to produce enough DHEA and growth hormone to help our body heal and repair.
2 – Chemical stress from our food, when we are eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates it’s very inflammatory because of blood sugar imbalances. Feeding the wrong type of microbes will cause all kinds of inflammation in our gut and cause problems in our body. High carbs, bad oils, vegetable, corn, safflower and soybean oils. Toxins in commercial animal products is one of the biggest ways of getting toxins from the diet. Drinking out of plastic water bottles we are getting BPA and phthalates that’s going to cause damage and inflammation and overstress our body with chemical toxins.
3 – Physical stress, could be a sedentary lifestyle, that’s very stressful for our body. On the other side is too much training, doing over exercising. I believe that 75% of people that regularly train in exercise are over trained which is causing an elevation in stress hormone and a depletion of the healing and repairing hormone. It can also be bad posture, trauma like an accident, spinal misalignment, subluxations.

We have to reduce these three stressors to get the body back in homeostasis and then we enhance our bodies ability to heal by sleeping well, thinking positive thoughts, laughing, playing, enjoying life. Eating great foods that are providing a multitude of nutrients, energizing appropriately, keeping our spine in alignment, breathing well and utilizing the right supplements. Especially today and the amount of onslaught that we have.

Our intestinal lining rebuilds itself every 3-5 days so it’s constantly healing and repairing. What we have to do is clean up the environment so it’s building healthy cells or it gets damaged again.

I put people on a rotation diet I call the digestive health restoration program. We want to eliminate food triggers for at least a month to six weeks, during that time we’re feeding the body with healing foods and healing supplements. Allowing the gut to heal reducing the inflammatory response within the gut. Then we slowly add back some of the “fringe” foods, which are foods that have nutrients like eggs, pastured farm raised. A lot of people have an immune reactivity to eggs so when I put them on a food elimination diet we’ll take the eggs out. After we reduce the inflammation and heal the gut wall we will introduce them back in and see how the body responds. We do biofeedback testing, looking at their pulse, if it raises that could be the body creating a stress response to that food.

There are a couple of major things we can do, certain nutrients are going to help the gut. Ginger is so powerful for the gut, it has nine types of gingerall compounds that stimulate serotonin receptors. Serotonin in the gut helps to modulate  bowel movement, helps have an overall relaxation in the gut. Ginger is considered a carminative, this helps reduce gas, bloating and constipation so it helps with good bowel tone and reduces muscle spasms and cramping. It also helps boost intracellular glutathione which reduces overall inflammation in the gut. It helps boost a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that helps with good muscle activity, helps with good bowel movements, good bowel motility so we are eliminating toxic substances.

Once we have digested our food and absorbed the nutrients in the small intestine it becomes a toxic hazard and we need to get it out of there, out of our body as quickly as possible. It becomes a breeding ground for bad bacteria and microorganisms that eat it, produce toxins and cause inflammation. We want to clear out everything we ate the next day, you don’t want food sitting in your body for more than twenty four hours or it’s going to create a lot of inflammation. It’s also good for nausea, acid reflux, liver problems, gall bladder problems, it’s amazing for hydrochloric acid production so we can initiate the digestive process. Hydrochloric acid is key for breaking down proteins, also sterilizing the food that comes into our body. Everything we eat has a lot of bacteria and microorganisms, it emulates the release of bile from our liver and gall bladder for good fat metabolism. Bile continues the process of sterilizing our food which reduces the risk of microbial overgrowth again. The more we can reduce microbial overgrowth the less digestive problems were going to have, the less inflammation in our gut.

Ginger is super critical, one of the ways to eat ginger is fermented vegetables. Kimchi has ginger and cabbage which is also good for the gut because it contains L-glutamine, fermented ginger also cleanses the palate. When they’re fermented their more bioavailable, our body is able to break them down and absorb them more effectively. On top of that now we also have good bacteria and enzymes, it’s one of the best things we could be doing to support the digestive process. You could also get ginger root, grate it and put it on your salad, or juice it in your green juice or a smoothie. When juicing it don’t start with a lot because it’s really strong, start with about an inch and slowly add until your tolerance level. There is also a fermented ginger drink called KeVita coconut water kefir, they have a lot of them that has ginger, one with lemon which is very good for the gut it has bioflavonoids, good for reducing inflammation in the gut, good for liver detox and oxygenation of the body. It has a coconut water base which is rich in potassium which is key for overall gut health and key for detoxing our body in general. It’s loaded with enzymes and good bacteria. Look for ways to get ginger into your body on a daily basis, very powerful.

Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories we could put in our body. Reduces inflammation, prevents against cancer growth, you can supplement it by getting a high quality curcumin and also in cooking in your food. I have some recipes on my web page for turmeric. It should be combined with a good fat, coconut fat, olive oil, avocado, grass fed butter, you also want a little black pepper, the active ingredient in there is pepperine that activates the absorption of curcumin getting ten times more absorption. With supplements get one that contains the pepperine in with the curcumin, you could also juice it or ferment it. You will also find your skin gets better, soft instead of dry or crusty, this is a sign of a clean liver and healthy gut.

Another thing is a good protein powder, one I like is pea protein. I find people with leaky gut may have food sensitivities to whey protein and dairy, the pea protein is typically well tolerated. It’s also a good prebiotic that favors the development of bifidobacteria for our large intestine, that helps produce a short chain fatty acid called butyrate and reduces inflammation throughout the whole body. Higher butyrate levels are shown to reduce arterial sclerosis, the hardening of the arteries, the inflammation in the arteries. So bifidobacteria plays a huge roll in our developing heart disease. Also L-glutamine is an amino acid that has been shown to strengthen the intestinal tight junctions and important for increasing and raising or enhancing the overall strength of SIGA. SIGA helps our body, it lives in the mucus membrane and it kills bad bacteria and yeast, it’s like a natural antibiotic. L-Glutamine helps SIGA function better so it can kill off more of the bad bacteria, yeast, parasites, to keep our intestine healthy and keep inflammation levels down.

It also helps to balance the two arms of our immune systems, we have a TH1 and TH2 immune systems. When these arms get out of balance, one stronger than the other, it increases our risk of getting things like autoimmune disease. L-Glutamine is good for balancing that, keeping autoimmunity down and under control. Zinc is also critical for balancing the immune system, every one of my clients that has autoimmunity, leaky gut syndrome, eczema, I always get them on a good zinc. Zinc is so critical for down regulating inflammation in the body and again regulating TH1 and TH2. Selenium is another key nutrient, I like selenium methionine 200mcg taken daily for six months was shown in a study to reduce thyroid antibodies by 75%, that’s extremely powerful. Selenium is really key for producing glutathione which is our bodies master antioxidant that lives in every cell. It helps to regulate the immune system, a compound we want to be utilizing on a regular basis. Also quercetin, this is something we find in red onions and the highest source, the best source is elderberries. Quercetin has been shown to strengthen the tight junction, then again strengthens the gut barrier so it doesn’t rip and break. You can also supplement with it as well to get the benefits.

I have a product called gut healing protein, it has everything we just talked about in there, things to also help the liver to detoxify. Everything to help that gut lining and to repair it, reduce the inflammation and prevent autoimmunity. If you get the gut well that is going to overall lower the inflammation in your body, help you age so much more successfully, and just make you feel so much better. Your going to adapt and recover better from exercise and sleep better. There is so many benefits that come from addressing the gut.

Food is our medicine and look to the gut, Hippocrates knew and we are re-discovering it.

You do this and you will see significant changes in your health.

For more information Dr. Jockers web page is


Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems you may be experiencing.

M. Scherker medical researcher.