June, 2022 - Science Nutrition Lab

Top 6 Best Science-Backed Supplements for Gut Health

Good gut health is linked to weight loss, immunity, energy, cognition, and other crucial processes.

If you don’t have good gut health, then your body struggles to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.

Poor gut health could also lead to greater intestinal permeability and leaky gut.

Fortunately, some supplements are proven to support gut health, support the intestinal lining, and help with issues like bloating and indigestion.

Keep reading to discover the best supplements for gut health.


Probiotic supplements contain living bacteria colonies called colony forming units (CFUs). These CFUs encourage the growth and balance of bacteria within your gut. A healthy gut microbiome is crucial for gut health. Without a healthy balance of probiotic bacteria, your body struggles to break down the foods you eat, extract their nutritional value, and maintain intestinal permeability, among other issues.

Probiotics are some of the most-studied gut health supplements available today. According to the National Institutes of Health, probiotic supplements help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms, influence your body’s immune response, and produce substances with desirable effects, among other benefits.

Look for probiotics with multiple strains of bacteria and high levels of CFUs. To be considered a probiotic yogurt, yogurt must contain a minimum of 1 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria, so your probiotic supplement should contain a similar number of CFUs.


95% of Americans don’t get their daily recommended intake of fiber. That’s unfortunate, because fiber is linked with everything from healthy blood pressure to better digestive health.

Fiber bulks up in your digestive tract, helping you push waste out of your body.

You can find plenty of “detox supplements” advertised online today with dramatic claims. However, many of these supplements simply contain high levels of fiber. That’s their secret.

As the Mayo Clinic explains, a high-fiber diet is linked to:

  • Normalized bowel movements
  • Maintenance of bowel health
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Better control of blood sugar levels
  • Weight loss
  • Longevity

The average man needs 38g of fiber per day (age 50 or younger) or 30g of fiber per day (age 51 or older).

The average woman needs 25g of fiber per day (age 50 or younger) or 21 grams of fiber per day (age 51 or older).

Psyllium supplements are affordable, easy to find, and plentiful, and you can easily take a psyllium supplement to get your daily recommended intake of fiber.


Used for centuries to help with stomach issues, ginger is popular in traditional Korean and Chinese medicine.

Today, studies show ginger is rich with natural ingredients with adaptogenic and antioxidant properties, which could make it valuable for gut health.

You can buy ginger supplements in powders, capsules, or tablets. Some people with digestive issues take ginger daily to help with nausea and vomiting. Others take it to soothe stomach aches.


Your body produces glutamine naturally, but many take glutamine supplements for added benefits. Today, a growing number of gut support supplements contain glutamine for that reason.

Studies show L-glutamine can help relieve diarrhea, especially if that diarrhea is linked to infections, stress, or a recent surgery.

One study connected L-glutamine supplementation specifically to gut microbiota. Researchers gave an L-glutamine supplement to a group of obese adults, then observed a significant improvement in gut bacteria levels.

Other studies suggest L-glutamine can help with nutrient absorption. If you have poor gut bacteria levels or are taking drugs that impair nutrient absorption, for example, then L-glutamine could support your body’s ability to absorb more nutrients.

Collagen Peptides

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Your body needs collagen protein for countless effects all over the body. That’s why many people take collagen peptide supplements daily.

Prized for their anti-aging effects, recovery benefits, and more, collagen peptide formulas can also help support gut health.

In one 2012 study, researchers found collagen peptide formulas had anti-inflammatory properties within the gut. Another study connected collagen peptides to leaky gut, finding collagen peptide supplementation helped prevent further breakdown of the intestinal lining.


Many are surprised to see licorice on a list of the best supplements for gut health. It’s true: certain types of licorice have been linked to gut health.

Using licorice for gut health isn’t new: it’s been used for centuries in traditional medicine to support gut health.

Today, you can take a deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) supplement to give your body 75 bioactive compounds to support gut health in various ways.

One study linked licorice to lower inflammation and better mucus production in the gut. Another study found licorice works better when you remove glycyrrhizin (GL) because it has adverse effects in humans, although the other 75 bioactive compounds in licorice support health in other ways.

Take a Blood Test to Spot and Address Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies may be silently sapping your energy every day – and many don’t know it.

You may have nutritional deficiencies because of a poor diet. Or, you may have nutritional deficiencies because of poor gut health – even if you eat right, your gut may struggle to absorb nutrients.

Take a Science Nutrition Lab blood test to get the answers you need for your gut health.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Signs, Symptoms, and How It Works

Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common today than ever.

If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, you might experience low energy levels, numbness or tingling, weak muscles, or decreased appetite.

As vegan and vegetarian diets surge in popularity, millions of people are missing vitamin B12 – and many don’t know it.

However, people with Crohn’s disease, autoimmune disorders, or a history of gastric surgeries could all have vitamin B12 deficiency even if they get enough vitamin B12 daily.

Fortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is easy to spot. Many people take a vitamin B12 supplement or multivitamin daily to manage the deficiency.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about vitamin B12 deficiency, its symptoms, and how to address it.

What is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency, also known as vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, is a condition where your body cannot produce enough healthy, red blood cells because it lacks vitamin B12.

Your body uses vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. If you aren’t getting vitamin B12 through dietary sources or a supplement, then your body cannot produce enough red blood cells.

Red blood cells play a crucial role in health and energy: your body uses red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. When you have low red blood cell counts, your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen. You may feel lethargic, mentally foggy, or weak.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, according to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, include all of the following:

  • Weak muscles
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Difficulty walking
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Physical and mental fatigue or low energy
  • Smooth and tender tongue
  • Fast heart rate
  • Diarrhea

Who’s at Risk for Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Certain groups and people have a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency than others.

Some of the risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • A family history of the disease
  • Removal of part or all of your stomach or intestine
  • Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease
  • HIV
  • Certain medications
  • Strict vegetarian or vegan diets
  • Old age

Depending on your risk factors, doctors may develop a treatment plan for vitamin B12 deficiency based on your age, overall health, medical history, level of sickness, and ability to handle certain medications, among other factors.

Take a Blood Test to Spot Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Millions of people have lower-than-normal levels of vitamin B12.

If you believe you have vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, then a simple blood test can help.

A blood test checks your blood for vitamins and minerals, then compares levels to a normal range. If your vitamin B12 levels are significantly lower than normal, then you have vitamin B12 deficiency.

How to Address Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A doctor may help develop a custom treatment plan for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Some people can address the deficiency by taking a vitamin B12 supplement or a multivitamin.

Others simply adjust their diet, eating more foods rich in vitamin B12 than they previously did.

However, doctors may need to build a custom treatment plan based on your family history, medical status, and any medications you take. Sometimes, fixing vitamin B12 deficiency isn’t as easy as taking a vitamin B12 supplement.

Some of the ways to address vitamin B12 deficiency include:

Eat More Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Dairy Products, and Eggs: Vegetarians and vegans have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because there are few good plant-based sources. Consider adding more meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, or eggs to your diet to increase vitamin B12 intake.

Take a Vitamin B12 Supplement: A vitamin B12 supplement contains 100% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin B12 or more, making it easy to get the vitamin B12 you need daily. You can buy dedicated vitamin B12 supplements or a multivitamin.

Take Plant-Based Foods Fortified with Vitamin B12: Some cereals and health foods are fortified with vitamin B12, making them a good source of vitamin B12.

Work with a Doctor to Create a Custom Treatment Plan: Adding more vitamin B12 to your diet is not guaranteed to fix vitamin B12 deficiency. Instead, you may need to work with a doctor to develop  accustom treatment plan for your deficiency.

Order a Science Nutrition Lab Blood Test Today

Science Nutrition Lab’s blood tests reveal crucial insight into your health beyond a normal blood test.

A normal blood test compares you to sick people, which could make it difficult to spot deficiencies.

A Science Nutrition Lab blood test compares you to an optimal range, giving you better health insight.

Order a Science Nutrition Lab blood test today to determine if you have vitamin B12 deficiency or other deficiencies to address.  

5 Symptoms of Leaky Gut – and How to Get Help

Recent research has confirmed leaky gut is a real condition.

Millions of people suffer from leaky gut syndrome. When you have leaky gut, your intestinal wall is more permeable than normal, which means more toxins could leak through.

People with Crohn’s disease tend to have higher intestinal permeability, as do people with diabetes and autoimmune disorders.

However, leaky gut can affect anyone.

Today, we’re highlighting some of the most common sypmtoms of leaky gut – and things you can do to help support your gut.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome is a gastrointestinal order affecting the permeability of your intestinal lining.

In a healthy gut, your intestinal lining is strong. It keeps foreign invaders out of your body, pushing them out of your body as waste.

If you have leaky gut, your intestinal wall isn’t as strong. It’s more permeable, which means more toxins could pass your intestinal barrier and enter your body.

Studies show people with leaky gut have tiny gaps that allow bacteria and other toxins to pass into the bloodstream. These tiny gaps are formed by tight junctions in the intestinal walls. The more tight junctions you have, the more permeable your gut may be.

Top 5 Most Common Symptoms of Leaky Gut

Common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:

  1. Digestive Issues (Chronic Diarrhea or Constipation): People with leaky gut syndrome often have issues making normal bowel movements. They might have chronic diarrhea or constipation, for example.
  2. Bloating or Gastrointestinal Discomfort: If you regularly feel bloated or have other gastrointestinal discomfort after eating a normal meal, then it may be a sign of leaky gut.
  3. Fatigue: Some people with physical fatigue have leaky gut. If you frequently feel like you have low energy, then it could be a sign of leaky gut.
  4. Mental Fog, Concentration Issues, or General Cognitive Concerns: If you have persistent mental fog, or if you’re struggling to concentrate, then it could be linked to leaky gut.
  5. Nutritional Deficiencies: Do you feel like you eat right – yet struggle with nutritional deficiencies? If a recent blood test has indicated multiple nutritional deficiencies, then it could be a sign of leaky gut.

Other Symptoms of Leaky Gut

Other, less common symptoms of leaky gut include:

  • Confusion
  • Skin problems, including acne, rashes, or eczema
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation throughout the body
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cravings for sugary or carb-heavy foods

The Problem with Diagnosing Leaky Gut Syndrome

Recent studies have proven leaky gut is a real thing. However, it’s difficult to diagnose the disease with 100% accuracy.

  • Many of the leaky gut syndrome symptoms above are shared with other conditions. You could have leaky gut – or you could have Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or other gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Complicating matters further is that certain members of the medical community do not recognize leaky gut syndrome as a real condition.
  • Some believe leaky gut syndrome is a cause or symptom of other diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease. It may not be its own syndrome, and it could simply be a cause or symptom of related diseases.

Despite these problems, millions of people have leaky gut and manage the condition daily. Effective management of leaky gut can support intestinal permeability, helping to restore your gut’s normal function.

Risk Factors for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Certain people have a higher risk of developing leaky gut.

People who consume higher-than-average amounts of alcohol, for example, have a higher risk of developing leaky gut, as do people with poor nutrition or autoimmune disorders.

Some of the risk factors for leaky gut syndrome, according to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, including:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Poor nutrition
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Infections
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

Yes, There’s a Test for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Research shows one test could identify leaky gut syndrome. Here’s how it works:

  1. A doctor tells you to take a liquid solution with mannitol and lactulose.
  2. Mannitol and lactulose are two water-soluble molecules your body cannot use.
  3. If you have a healthy intestinal lining, then your body will easily absorb mannitol. Mannitol is small enough to pass through your intestinal lining safely and be absorbed into the body.
  4. Your body absorbs less lactulose because it’s a larger molecule. A normal gut will only absorb some lactulose.
  5. Doctors check the absorption of mannitol and lactulose via a urine test. Doctors collect your urine for six hours after the test. They measure the amount of mannitol and lactulose excreted via urine.
  6. If you have a healthy gut, the test shows high levels of mannitol and low levels of lactulose.
  7. If you have a leaky gut, the test shows high levels of both mannitol and lactulose.
  8. If you have poor absorption of nutrients for other reasons, then the test may indicate low levels of both mannitol and lactulose.

How to Support a Leaky Gut

There’s still plenty to learn about leaky gut syndrome. However, studies suggest there are ways to support a leaky gut, support intestinal permeability, and support your body’s natural detoxification processes, including:

Avoid Processed Foods: Foods with high levels of sugar, refined oils, heavy processing, or high fat content are all bad for leaky gut and overall health. Studies appear to show a connection between processed foods and leaky gut, so it’s best to avoid these foods entirely.

Avoid Gluten: Some people have greater symptoms of leaky gut after eating foods with gluten. Try cutting gluten from your diet to see if you notice fewer symptoms of leaky gut.

Avoid Dairy: Dairy products could also increase symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. Try cutting dairy from your diet to see if you improve symptoms of leaky gut.

Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol increases intestinal inflammation, which is bad for leaky gut. Consider reducing or eliminating your alcohol intake to see if it helps your leaky gut.

Take a Probiotic Supplement: Probiotic supplements support colonies of gut bacteria in your intestines, and these colonies play a crucial role in gut health and breaking down the foods you eat. Consider taking a probiotic supplement to see if it helps your leaky gut. Or, eat fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi to support gut bacteria.

Final Word: Take a Blood Test to Check Nutritional Deficiencies

Leaky gut affects millions of people worldwide – and many of these people are unaware they have leaky gut syndrome.

Nutritional deficiencies are some of the first signs of leaky gut syndrome, and a single, painless blood test can easily spot deficiencies.

Consider taking a Science Nutrition Lab blood test today to check symptoms of leaky gut.

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