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The instigator of your leaky gut may be an infectious pathogen — a virus, bacteria, or parasite that takes root in your gut’s warm mucous. Target pathogens directly. Find a health-care practitioner to run tests, or try to kill the pathogens yourself.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of Real Cause, Real Cure, recommends using colloidal silver and bismuth. “Silver is arguably the best anti-infectious agent in the world,” he says. And bismuth, the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, breaks down the biofilms that protect bacteria. Teitelbaum’s protocol is 2 tablespoons of colloidal silver mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar-free aloe vera juice (as a gut-friendly conduit), and a dose of Pepto-Bismol. Swallow all three on an empty stomach three times a day.

The goal is for the cocktail to reach the small intestine where pathogens flourish. There the bismuth will dissolve the biofilms and the colloidal silver will kill the bugs hiding inside.

Give the protocol two to three weeks to work, he says, but tough cases may need up to eight weeks to do the job.

He notes it is important to buy a high-quality colloidal silver, meaning the silver has been broken down into small enough particles that it will pass through the body. Otherwise, the silver may turn your skin “a Smurfy shade of blue.” He likes Argentyn 23 or Sovereign Silver made by Natural-Immunogenics.

Another option is to try bovine colostrum, which is the milk a cow releases in the days following birth of a calf. It is a rich source of immunoglobulins, growth factors, cytokines, and antibodies that fight disease-causing agents, such as bacteria and viruses.

“Cows have similar probiotics as we do,” says Tom Sult, MD, a Minnesota-based integrative family medicine practitioner, “they make a wide range of antibodies against lots of pathogens. Adding biologically active antibodies to fight the bad actors in your gut creates an environment where good bugs can grow.”

Studies show bovine colostrum helps treat bacteria-induced diarrhea, and early research shows it may help reverse damage to the gut caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Sult recommends looking for a product that is 100 percent colostrum, meaning no fillers or extras. Avoid bovine colostrum if you are allergic to dairy or if you have a history of hormone-sensitive cancers, as it is high in estrogen.

Illustrations by Kotryna Zukauskaite

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