The gut barrier is comprised of a single layer of epithelial cells that serve as a physical barrier against multiple stressors, e.g., microbes, microbial products, and antigens. Although it is widely accepted that an impaired gut barrier contributes to the initiation and progression of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), to date there is no biomarker or therapeutic target to detect/heal the barrier. IBD is of multifactorial origin -- luminal dysbiosis, immune deregulation, genetics, and environmental factors all contribute to its development and progression. Currently, IBD patients are offered expensive inflammation-reducing therapies have only a ~30-50% response-rate; 40% of responders become refractory to treatment within a year. Unfortunately, 100% face the risk of morbid side effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop alternative modalities, in this case, ways to strengthen the gut barrier and heal broken junctions.