Updated on July 20, 2023
If the contents of your gut are leaking into your bloodstream, then your immune system, responsible for protecting you from hostile bacteria, takes up arms against what is leaking out of your gut, leaving your gastrointestinal tract at risk of experiencing collateral damage. Due to the immune system’s efforts to contain the threat, a person can be left with a swollen, painful, and tender abdomen, not to mention disrupted bowel movements. In the days and weeks after an incident, a person might anxiously try to avoid foods that are suspected as a trigger for leaky gut, only to find that even the safest foods seem to throw their digestive system into disarray. In other words, a leaky gut isn’t a mild condition.
If this has happened to you, and you make a trip to the clinic, your health care practitioner will probably recognize that you’re suffering from a leaky gut on the basis of the high levels of inflammation that are centered around your gastrointestinal tract, as well as high white blood cell counts. Unfortunately, there’s no one treatment available to address leaky gut.
If you’re diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease—which tends to have leaky gut as a feature—then you might be prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug, although it won’t help your gut to heal any faster, which means that it is of limited use in making you more comfortable; anti-inflammatory medications don’t prompt the cells of the gut to repair themselves, which leaves your leaky gut just as leaky as before you took the medication. Furthermore, the high level of gut inflammation in patients with IBDs all but guarantees that inflammation will persist even after therapy.
In the absence of a definitive treatment, individuals who are struggling with leaky gut are left searching for a multifunctional remedy that can help them heal, while also helping them to experience less gastrointestinal distress. For these individuals, research suggests that quercetin might be a promising natural remedy.
Quercetin is a potent natural antioxidant common in many kinds of plants and food products.* Although quercetin isn’t a nutrient that most people have heard of, you probably consume quercetin frequently; tomatoes, kale, cranberries, cilantro, radishes, and red onions all contain quercetin, and garnishes like capers and dill are even richer sources. But while most people have consumed quercetin, the quantities contained in food products are probably too small to result in meaningful gastrointestinal benefits. This means that quercetin intended for nutritional support purposes should be in the form of a nutritional supplement.
Quercetin supplements could help individuals with leaky gut in two ways: first, by helping to maintain a normal inflammatory response, which will help to decrease the gut leakage and, second, by helping the cells of the intestinal wall to plug leaks more rapidly.* Exploring each of quercetin’s capabilities will help individuals evaluate whether taking a quercetin supplement is the best tool to provide nutritional support for their leaky gut.
Quercetin’s primary appeal to individuals with leaky gut is that it will help them to feel better by helping to maintain a normal inflammatory response in their gastrointestinal tract, and in most cases without causing adverse side effects.* After consuming a quercetin supplement with a light meal, quercetin is readily digested in the gastrointestinal tract, where it can then localize around points of leakage.*
Normally, the cells of the gut wall are pressed against each other so that nothing can get through, much like bricks in a wall. In between the cells, there are areas called tight junctions, which correlate to the mortar between bricks. As long as the cells and the tight junctions between them remain intact, the contents of the gut remain in the gut until they are excreted or absorbed. But when tight junctions are disrupted, like in leaky gut, molecules of undigested food or harmful bacteria can slip through, leaking from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream.
While the root cause of leaky gut is unclear, leaky gut typically becomes a health problem because it disrupts the barrier that protects the body from harmful substances in the gastrointestinal tract, allowing those substances to enter the bloodstream.
Most gut bacteria are helpful for digestion when they are confined in the gut, but the immune system recognizes them as a threat if they’re encountered elsewhere. Likewise, viruses and harmful bacteria might be harmless while otherwise inside the gastrointestinal tract but begin to cause symptoms when they can escape and become established in other parts of the body. When immune cells encounter such substances leaking into the bloodstream from the gut, they generate an abundance of inflammation, causing symptoms such as bloating, pain, and discomfort.
Additionally, the affected immune cells send signals to other immune cells, prompting them to stand by to upregulate an inflammatory response of their own if they encounter a threat. When those cells actually encounter the threat, they subsequently generate an imbalanced inflammatory response than they would otherwise. As such, bloating, pain, and discomfort might grow worse over time.
When the cells of the immune system are exposed to quercetin, however, they can down-regulate their secretion of inflammatory molecules, while also becoming less prone to signal to other immune cells that they should up-regulate their inflammatory response. Thus, quercetin helps maintain a normal inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as elsewhere in the body.* The result is that taking a quercetin supplement can help provide symptom management before symptoms begin to spiral out of control.*
Helping to maintain a normal inflammatory response is also helpful because it can enable the cells of the gut wall to begin working to plug the leaks sooner than they could otherwise.* This is because cells of the intestinal wall normally slow down their rate of repairing gaps to a crawl when the gut’s inflammatory response becomes imbalanced.
Significantly, when the cells of the intestinal wall are exposed to quercetin, the cells of the gut wall can start repairing gaps, which helps the patient to feel better faster because it ultimately minimizes the amount of leakage in the gut.*
Quercetin’s ability to prompt the gut to begin repairs makes it a formidable natural therapy for leaky gut.* So far, quercetin hasn’t been investigated for leaky gut in clinical trials. Nonetheless, the all-natural and side-effect-free functions of quercetin make it very promising for patients who are seeking safe and effective nutritional support for gastrointestinal distress.*
Helping your immune system to address a symptom like leaky gut will require the use of a high-quality quercetin supplement developed for optimal bioavailability. This is crucial, because many quercetin supplements aren’t formulated in a way the body can use to experience quercetin’s beneficial effects. With the help of a well-formulated quercetin supplement, however, both the immune system and gastrointestinal tract can have the nutritional support they need to help prevent the gut from leaking and to better respond when leaks occur.*
The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your gastrointestinal health.*