Three Supplements That Can Improve the Integrity of Your Digestive System

Three Supplements That Can Improve the Integrity of Your Digestive System

Your gastrointestinal system has to deal with a daily onslaught of toxins, food allergies, lectins, and GMO’s  that degrade the integrity of your digestive system. Are there any supplements that can help keep your digestive system in optimal health?

3. NAG

NAG is a monosaccharide derivative of glucose. NAG can correct an overactive immune system so that autoimmune reactions occur less often. The mechanisms of action believed to be behind correcting an overactive immune system is that NAG controls immune T-cell over activity and stabilizes mast cells.1 2

NAG is also involved in the repair of mucous membranes throughout the body. NAG can be supplemented to help repair the extracellular tissue and barrier of the gastrointestinal system. It also decreases the binding of some lectins (proteins that may damage the intestines) from food ingestion. NAG helps to correctly regulate your gut flora by maintaining the mucosal barrier and preventing SIBO from occurring. Finally, NAG prevents the excessive formation of the cytokines IL-1 and IL-6 which are detrimental to gut barrier function.3

NAG has also been shown in a recent study to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract in people suffering from IBD, leading to remission. NAG should not be used in people with yeast dysbiosis in the gut because it can increase virulence.4

Recommended NAG:

2. L-glutamine

L-glutamine is an amino acid that is used in the body for protein synthesis, regulation of pH balance in the kidneys, cellular energy, nitrogen donation, and a nontoxic transporter of ammonia in the blood. Intestinal cells consume more L-glutamine than anywhere else in the body does. L-glutamine is a major source of energy for the proliferation and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells. This is why it is important for gut healing. L-glutamine maintains the gut barrier and helps maintain the mucus barrier. Supplementation of L-glutamine reduces hospital recovery time after surgery because it increases white blood cell activity at the sight of injury. 5 6 7

People with cancer should avoid L-glutamine supplementation because the cancer cells might use it for energy production and replicate faster. I do not recommend the use of L-glutamine in people with upper gut dysbiosis because it can increase virulence.8

Recommend L-glutamine:

1. Zinc Carnosine

Zinc carnosine is a supplement that is the combination of the mineral zinc and the amino acid carnosine. Zinc is beneficial in decreasing wound healing time and also increases immune functions. Carnosine is an amino acid that is highly concentrated in muscle tissue and has been shown to protect organs from oxidative stress.9

Zinc binds quickly to stomach tissue if taken on an empty stomach. If zinc is taken on an empty stomach, it causes severe stomach pain and gastritis. It has been theorized that zinc ions are highly soluble in stomach acid and have corrosive, antimicrobial, and immune stimulating properties that irritate the stomach tissue because of the direct absorption of the zinc ions. If you chelate zinc with carnosine, the chelation slows down the absorption and elimination of zinc from the stomach. 10 Zinc is then able to directly repair the stomach and intestinal tissue without irritating it so zinc carnosine may be taken on an empty stomach as needed. Zinc carnosine also protects the stomach lining for opportunistic H. pylori infection, and NSAID damage that cause ulcers that develop from long-term use of the medication.11

High doses of zinc carnosine may cause zinc toxicity and reduce immune function. Take no more than 45 mg of zinc carnosine each day or 100 mg of elemental Zinc daily. Zinc carnosine should be used with caution in people with histamine intolerance, because carnosine contains L-histidine which becomes histamine.

Recommended Zinc Carnosine:

34 Comments
  1. John, how do you fix suspected severe leaky gut if cant take any of the above due to histamine, SIBO or yeast/protozoa? Antimicrobials also make my food reactions worse (weakness, fatigue, numb hands, brain fog, loss of balance, dry mouth etc)? I heard colostrum is good but that if its halo-lactoferrin then some protozoa can feed off this (apo lactoferrin is best used)… so what else could I use? S boulardii no longer has any effect.

    • I am a fan of colostrum, I have seen liposomial or raw goat colostrum work wonders. Just have to start with really small doses.

  2. Hi,

    How long should you take the three supplements for to heal the gut ? Thanks !

  3. I am confused. I am treating for gastritis. You write zinc on an empty stomach can irritate and cause gastritis and later in the paragraph you say zinc carnosine can be taken on an empty stomach. Which is it?? I don’t want to do more damage. Thanks!

  4. Glutamine can actually RAISE ammonia levels in the brain, unless one has sufficient carnitine (not carnosine).

    That’s also one of the downsides of NAG — it raises ammonia levels with certain infections:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24928869

    http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1004947

    Your thoughts?

    • L-orthinine is important in the reduction of ammonia so is L-carnitine.

      Interesting on the NAG, I will take note of that, thank you.

  5. Hi! I was wondering if zinc carnosine alone is enough to help with a case of helicobacter pylori and gastritis? My naturopath also has me taking metogenics Bactrex and Glutagenics. Thanks!

    • Possibly, but remember H. pylori is very hardy and the standard conventional therapy to reduce it is 3-4 antibiotics at one time.

  6. Is there anything that can replace NAG.
    I cannot take it since it is made from animal ingredients. (shrimp, ect)

    Is there any other product that can be substituted for NAG?

    also, whenever I start to take L-Glutamine, I always, and I mean, always, get a nasty UTI (urinary tract infection that goes up to my kidneys), it takes a whole course of antibiotics to clear that up.
    Did you hear of something like that?
    is there anything else that I can take instead of L-glutamine?

    I take the zinc carnosine without any problem though, but I don’t think it is enough to cure my gas/bloating and other IBS/leaky gut symptoms.

    any reply would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  7. Hi John,

    Excellent website and articles! I will have to look into your book today. I have a quick questions I was hoping you could help me with? What would you say is the best form of Zinc and dose to assist in healing leaky gut and mild ulcerative colitis? I am also fallowing Buhner’s protocol for Lyme. I see Zink Carosine is recommended for stomach healing but my issues are more in the intestines. I think sitting a LOT does not help either.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Ryan

  8. Thanks for this post. I knew about L-Glutamine, but not the others. Trying to unravel the mystery of what will work. I’ll definitely check out the book too.

  9. I’ve used the above with good results but adding one more was transformative for me — MK7.

    I discovered it when I starting taking D+K dots (they were out of plain D dots at the vitamin store) and wondered what made such a difference. After experimenting, I realized it was the D+K dots I had recently started. I looked up the Vitamin K in them and ultimately was led to the variation called MK7. I’d seen it by Jarrow many times but had no idea what it did. For me, MK7 is flat out amazing.

    I’ve always had digestive issues, but getting older, they had gone crazy. I always keep NAG, Glutamine and Zinc around for bad bouts but please consider adding in MK7. I don’t know why it helped me so much but it was amazing … but only when added to the NAG, etc regimen. Colostrum also seems like a great addition for me as well.

  10. Hi Just wondering would you recommend taking the NAG, ZInc and glutamine altogether?
    I’ve just finished a dose of treble therapy for H-pylori and need to fix me gut badly! Thanks

  11. I to am confused. you list 45 of zinc carosine as being the upper limit. did you mean actual 45 mg of zinc carosine or 45 mg or zinc itself apart froom the carosine. thanks

  12. Would it be beneficial to take NAG in conjunction with Zinc Carnosine? If so, would it matter if they were taken at the same time or at different intervals?
    Also, I’ve read about the potential of zinc toxicity and the need to balance zinc with copper. There was no mention of this in the reports about the Japanese trials which I believe lasted 8 weeks. At what point do you have to worry about too much zinc?

  13. I’m confused: in your book, “Fix your gut”, you recommend Now Foods L-Optizinc on one page, then state that you recommend Zinc Methionine more than any other zinc – but here you recommend Zinc Carnosine. Is this because they are recommended for different symptoms, or for some other reason, please? I apologise if it’s explained later in your book: currently I’m up to the section about zinc, at the moment.

    Thanks,
    Richard.

  14. Hi, I have trouble digesting capsules. Can you open the NAG caps and take with water or applesauce? (Crohn’s)

  15. Hi,

    You recommend Pure Encapsulations Peptic Care ZC in another article (as the one you take), but it has 75mg of zinc carnosine. In this article you recommend no more than 45mg per day… Is Pure Encapsulations Peptic Care ZC ok to take each day?

    Kind regards,

    Juliet

  16. thank you for the article!

    I heard Dave Asprey talk about a supplement he recommended to take when eating tomatoes, to bind lectins, but I haven´t been able to find the article again.

    Could NAG serve that function? If yes, would that really make tomates (and/or other nightshades) bulletproof?

  17. I see thanks; in that case I’m going to give your top recommendation a try and test out zinc carosine. You stated that it may be taken on an empty stomach as needed; is it more effective when taken on an empty stomach?

    • If you have an ulcer or gastritis take it on an empty stomach, to help repair more of the stomach lining. Everyone else can take it with food.

  18. Also do I take zinc carosine on an empty stomach for greater absorbtion or with a meal?

  19. Is Glucosamine HCl as effective as NAG such as this supplement here: http://www.amazon.com/Jarrow-Formulas-Glucosamine-Easy-Solv-Tablets/dp/B0016004XQ/ref=pd_sim_hpc_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=130JJRHP57Q3CX74XK0A
    I ask due to food allergies with crab/shellfish

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