Leaky Gut: The Root Of All Illness And Disease? An Unbiased Review
Recently, a health issue has resurfaced and got quite a bit of attention in health circles. At the center of all the controversy and debate is “leaky gut”.
Mainstream medical professionals call it “utter nonsense”. But, alternative and natural health enthusiasts believe that it is the next breakthrough in medical science.
They say that leaky gut is the root cause for almost every disease in the world. A claim that no one in the pharmaceutical and medical societies refuse to support.
So who’s right? And who’s wrong. Well, let’s look at the facts shall we?
Before that, though…
What Is Leaky Gut?
The more serious science people call it intestinal hyperpermeability.
Simply put, the way your body absorbs all the nutrients you eat is through the walls of your gut. The gut is lined with cells that have gaps between them. This gaps are small enough to let nutrients pass through, but toxic and waste material can’t get through. And so they continue on to your large intestine and get excreted.
Problems occur when the intestinal lining is broken, and the unwanted stuff enters your blood stream.
Now that we know that, let’s take a look at what facts we have.
Is Leaky Gut Real?
Researchers At UCLA Published A Leaky Gut Syndrome Test In 1986 That Showed Leaky Gut Could Possibly Exist
In the words of the principle investigator Professor David Hollander:
“We did not think that it was the only etiologic factor…but by allowing … infectious or toxic substances to penetrate the intestinal barrier…[increased intestinal permeability could] contribute to the cascade of events that culminate in active Crohn’s disease.” (1)
And since then, many studies have also showed links to asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel, kidney disease, psoriasis, eczema, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even heart failure. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
That’s a long list of problems.
But medical practitioners say it’s not enough data to prove anything. And the thing is, none of those studies mention leaky gut syndrome specifically.
On the other hand, they do agree that increased permeability (or wider gaps) do occur in certain chronic diseases. They just aren’t ready to jump on the bandwagon without enough data.
Some Researchers May Have Identified The Protein That Causes Leaky Gut
The protein is called zonulin. And a group a scientists discovered in 2000 that it regulates the opening between cells walls in your intestine. Zonulin is basically in charge of widening or tightening the gaps. (12)
This proved to be a “paradigm shift” in our understanding of the gut. And specifically how large molecules entered the bloodstream.
Further studies showed that two thing trigger the release of zonulin: bad bacteria and gluten. (13, 14, 15)
Surely, the medical experts can’t argue with this right?
Well, the truth isn’t that black and white. Other studies trying to repeat the results found that gluten only affected a certain group of people.
Specifically, people with conditions like celiac disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS). And together with certain genes, it creates a “perfect storm” for a lot of autoimmune diseases. Which is why mainstream doctors and experts don’t advice regular people to cut gluten from their diet. Except as a leaky gut syndrome treatment for Celiac disease.
That said, certain bacteria still do cause the body to produce zonulin. And these bad bacteria thrive in an unhealthy gut.
How You Can Heal Your Gut, Whether it's Leaky Gut or Not
At the end of the day, sure… intestinal hyperpermeability does exist. They agree on that.
But whether it is the cause or effect of autoimmune diseases is debatable. And when you talk about other problems like cancer and autism, the studies are almost nonexistent.
At the end of the day, as long as you take care of your health and balance your gut microbiome… there’s nothing to worry about. The clues are there, whether it’s called leaky gut or not.