Best Probiotic For Leaky Gut, According to a Gastroenterologist


Leaky gut is a condition where the lining cells of the gut become inflamed and unhealthy, leading to increased permeability and the entry of toxins, bacteria, and inflammatory cells into the bloodstream. Increased permeability refers to a condition where a barrier or membrane allows more substances to pass through it than usual, often leading to potential problems or imbalances in a biological system.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer health benefits to the host by improving the balance of gut bacteria. The concept of leaky gut and its symptoms are still hypothetical, and clinical guidelines do not directly support the use of probiotics for leaky gut.

What Is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut syndrome also known as intestinal permeability is a proposed digestive condition where the intestinal lining becomes more permeable, allowing bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream. Intestinal permeability refers to the control of material passing from inside the gastrointestinal tract through the cells lining the gut wall. Some people may experience increased intestinal permeability or hyperpermeability, where the junctions in the gut epithelial wall lose their integrity, allowing material to pass through more than just water and nutrients.


It is associated with symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, aches, and pains. The exact cause of leaky gut syndrome is not fully understood, but conditions affecting the stomach and intestines, as well as systemic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging.

Do Probiotics Help Leaky Gut?

Yes, probiotics do help with Leaky Gut intestinal permeability according to new research. A 2023 study authored by SA Abdellah, found that a multistrain probiotic can improve intestinal permeability in a considerable proportion of patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D). After 30 days of supplementation, 81.5% of patients showed an improvement in intestinal permeability, and 37% experienced normalization.


An improvement in intestinal permeability refers to a positive change or enhancement in the integrity and function of the intestinal lining, allowing for better regulation of the passage of substances through the gut wall.

Best Probiotic For Leaky Gut

The best probiotics for Leaky Gut are a multi-strain mixture of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotic strains according to research. When choosing a probiotic for leaky gut it is best to look for a blend of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics.


Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are both categorized as genera of probiotic bacteria. They belong to the family of lactic acid bacteria and are commonly found in various fermented foods and probiotic supplements. These probiotics have been extensively studied for their potential health benefits, particularly in supporting digestive health and strengthening the gut's natural defense against harmful microorganisms.

  • Lactobacillus Paracasei HII01, Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium longum: A 2022 study authored by C Chaiyasut, found that the supplementation of this probiotic mix improved intestinal barrier function by up to 48%.
  • Lactobacillus: A 2013 study authored by RK Rao, found that Lactobacillus probiotics assist in maintaining normal gut mucosal homeostasis and protect the intestinal lining from injurious factors such as toxins, allergens, and pathogens.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1: A 2016 study authored by M van den Nieuwboer, found that this probiotic showed promising effects on epithelial barrier function, stimulation of Th1 cells, and the potential to remove cholesterol.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus 19070-2 and Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 12246: A 2004 study authored by V Rosenfeldt, found that probiotic supplementation of these two probiotics helped alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms and strengthen the intestinal barrier function. The lactulose-mannitol test revealed that after probiotic treatment, the lactulose to mannitol ratio, which indicates intestinal permeability, was lower, suggesting that probiotics may help stabilize the intestinal barrier function in children.

Do Probiotics Make Probiotics Worse?

Probiotics can be both beneficial and harmful for individuals with leaky gut, depending on the condition of their gut barrier. According to an article authored by Woojung Shin, Ph.D, once the gut barrier is damaged, probiotics can be harmful, similar to any other bacteria that escapes into the body through a compromised intestinal barrier. When the gut barrier is healthy, probiotics are considered beneficial. Individuals with a compromised gut barrier should make sure to use other methods a long side probiotics, for healing Leaky Gut.

How To Heal Leaky Gut?

Eating foods that promote healthy gut bacteria, including fruits, cultured dairy products, healthy fats, and lean proteins, while avoiding processed foods, dairy, sugar, and high-carb foods can help to heal Leaky Gut. A 2023 study authored by RS Aleman, showed that certain herbs, polyphenols, amino acids, and minerals may help treat leaky gut. Healing leaky gut refers to the process of repairing and strengthening the intestinal barrier to prevent the leakage of harmful substances into the bloodstream and promote better gut health.

Bone broth and raw cultured dairy are also recommended for their potential to heal damaged gut cell walls according to a 2022 study authored by H Kaur. Bone broth is a nutrient-rich liquid made by simmering bones and connective tissues, known for its potential health benefits, including providing essential minerals and amino acids. Raw cultured dairy refers to dairy products made from unpasteurized milk that undergo fermentation with beneficial bacteria, resulting in probiotic-rich foods known for their potential digestive and health benefits.

Signs Leaky Gut Is Healing?

5 Signs your Leaky Gut is healing include mental, cognitive, weight and mood benefits.

  1. 1
    Return of energy and vitality
  2. 2
    Improved mental clarity
  3. 3
    Enhanced mood
  4. 4
    A Return to one's ideal weight
  5. 5
    An overall feeling of being one's best self 

It is important to note that gut health is on a spectrum, and individual experiences may vary. Healing leaky gut can take time, and personalized dietary and lifestyle adjustments may be necessary.

How Long To Take Probiotics For Leaky Gut?

It's best to take probiotics for Leaky Gut for at least 1-month but it's possible to see benefits after a couple of weeks. The healing time for Leaky Gut may vary, ranging from a few weeks to several months depending on symptom severity. It's important to continue taking the probiotics even if your Leaky Gut symptoms have improved to avoid any potential relapse.

How Is Leaky Gut Diagnosed?

There is no widely recognized medical diagnosis for leaky gut syndrome and is considered a clinical diagnosis based on a collection of a person's signs and symptoms. Certain tests can be performed to assess intestinal permeability, such as a urine test that measures the levels of mannitol and lactulose absorbed by the body as mentioned.

A healthy test shows high levels of mannitol and low levels of lactulose, whereas high levels of both molecules may indicate a leaky gut condition as shown in the previous V Rosenfeldt study. Mannitol and lactulose are two types of sugar molecules used in a test to assess intestinal permeability and identify the presence of a leaky gut condition.

Is Butyrate Good For Leaky Gut?

Yes, Butyrate is good for Leaky Gut because is known to support the gut barrier and promote a healthy gut lining, which can help prevent "leaky gut." By feeding the cells lining the colon and preventing bacterial products from crossing into the blood and causing inflammation, butyrate plays a vital role in maintaining gut health according to a 2023 study authored by N Recharla.

Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid produced by healthy gut bacteria, known for supporting gut health and maintaining the integrity of the gut lining. When probiotics are introduced into the gut, they can increase the production of butyrate, which supports gut health and overall well-being.

Is Kefir Good For Leaky Gut?

Yes, kefir can be beneficial for leaky gut due to its probiotic content. Kefir contains Lactobacillus probiotics, which can reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with leaky gut and autoimmune diseases according to a 2021 study authored by MCG Peluzio. Kefir milk is a fermented dairy product that contains beneficial probiotics, known for its ability to promote gut health and improve digestion.


  • Which pre and pro biotics are best for ibs?

    • Alicia Harper (Nutritionist)

      Hi Dorothy, I wrote a blog post on the best probiotics here, and the prebiotics will largely depend on what foods trigger your IBS. Dark Leafy greens have a good amount of prebiotic fiber and are a good choice providing they do not trigger your IBS.

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