What is leaky gut syndrome?

July 05, 2023 2 min read

What is leaky gut syndrome?

"Leaky gut syndrome," also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the lining of the intestine becomes more porous, allowing toxins, bacteria, and other substances to pass into the bloodstream. The concept of leaky gut syndrome is controversial, and some experts argue that it is not a recognized medical condition. However, there is some evidence to suggest that increased intestinal permeability may be associated with certain health conditions.

Some potential causes of increased intestinal permeability include:

  • chronic stress,
  • poor diet,
  • overuse of antibiotics,
  • certain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Research has shown that certain conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes, are associated with increased intestinal permeability (1).

Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome may include bloating, gas, cramps, fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, and food sensitivities. However, these symptoms are non-specific and can be caused by a wide range of conditions.

There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that certain dietary and lifestyle changes may help to improve intestinal permeability. For example, reducing intake of inflammatory foods (such as sugar and processed foods), increasing intake of fiber and prebiotics, and taking probiotics may help to promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation in the gut (2).

However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between increased intestinal permeability and overall health, as well as the most effective treatments for this condition.

 

References:

Fasano, A. (2012). Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. Clinical reviews in allergy & immunology, 42(1), 71-78.

Zmora, N., Zilberman-Schapira, G., & Segal, E. (2019). The gut microbiome and its potential therapeutic application. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 16(6), 332-343.


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