(“Leaky Gut Syndrome”)
Your intestinal tract normally works to absorb nutrients and to keep toxins, bacteria and other harmful materials out of the body. Dysbiosis, chemical toxicity, drug therapy, heavy metal toxicity and poor diet can irritate the lining of the digestive tract. If the lining becomes sufficiently irritated it becomes a poor barrier; bacteria, toxins and other harmful materials have access to the body; this is known as intestinal permeability.
Intestinal permeability, or ʺleaky gut,ʺ as it is commonly called, can lead to a variety of health problems. It is a possible cause of allergies. Often it is accompanied by digestive problems. Incompletely digested protein particles (called ʺpeptidesʺ) are absorbed. These molecules are large enough to alert the immune system. Some experts believe that bacteria and viruses gain access to the body, challenging the immune system. There may even be a connection between excess intestinal permeability and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. In fact, many chronically‐ill people with allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or who are ʺjust plain sickʺ have at least part of their problem rooted in intestinal permeability.
Various nutrients and foods can help to heal the intestinal lining and decrease intestinal permeability. Similarly, there are foods and other substances that, when ingested, aggravate leaky gut.
Substances That Aggravate Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Refined sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Chemical additives and pesticides
- Hydrogenated oils
- Anti‐inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)
Substances That Help Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Cabbage juice
- Bioflavonoids (like quercetin, pycnogenol, etc.)
- Whey (provided that you are not allergic to dairy). You can get whey made from goat’s milk.
- Lamb intestine concentrate
- Butyric acid
Treating intestinal permeability usually involves activities that are good for your general health. Treatment is beneficial even if the bowel is healthy.