What is Leaky Gut Syndrome? More dangers of Gluten!

Dr. Amanda Hoffman, ND

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Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome (or “increased intestinal permeability”) describes damage to the intestinal mucosal lining, causing leaks in this protective filter. These enlarged spaces between the cells of the gut wall allow undigested food and other potentially harmful compounds (e.g., bacteria, toxins, waste) to enter the bloodstream. This can trigger digestive and other symptoms, such as bloating, gas, bowel irregularities, increased food sensitivities, and compromised metabolic detoxification. It can also result in pro-inflammatory signals throughout the body that may lead to the development of other chronic conditions.

Suggested causes include chronic inflammation, immune function, bacterial overgrowth, lifestyle choices (e.g., poor diet, heavy alcohol consumption), food sensitivities, and frequent or long-term use of medications that influence intestinal microbial balance or pain relievers that impact intestinal lining integrity.

  • About 70% of the body’s immune system is found in the digestive tract.
  • Practically any organ or body tissue can become affected by food allergies created by a leaky gut.
  • A leaky gut can also hamper the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients.

Metagenics offers a specialized program for leaky gut syndrome that includes a clinically designed dietary plan and medical food formulated to support a healthy microbial balance and gastrointestinal mucosal integrity.

– See more at: http://www.metagenics.com/medical-foods/health-conditions/leaky-gut-syndrome#sthash.N4gbqF0i.dpuf

LGS doesn’t just stop at the lining of the digestive tract.  Once irritation begins it can occur on any membrane lining thus being the cause of inflammation in joints, allowing for leaky blood brain barrier and more to be discovered as inflammation is the most investigated area of study today.

All chronic conditions should take a look at the GI tract to make sure it is optimal for healing starts where we take in our nutrients and our Sleep and lifestyle.

Read more about LGS here:


Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Feb;42(1):71-8. doi: 10.1007/s12016-011-8291-x.

Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases.

Fasano A.


Mucosal Biology Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. afasano@mbrc.umaryland.edu


Autoimmune diseases are characterized by tissue damage and loss of function due to an immune response that is directed against specific organs. This review is focused on the role of impaired intestinal barrier function on autoimmune pathogenesis. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiologic modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, autoimmune disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by re-establishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. Both animal models and recent clinical evidence support this new paradigm and provide the rationale for innovative approaches to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases.





Studies indicate that it (gluten’s protein gliadin) has the potential to contribute to a wide range of adverse health effects, including gut inflammation and damage to your gastrointestinal tract:

Pro-inflammatory–WGA stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers (cytokines) in intestinal and immune cells, and has been shown to play acausative role in chronic thin gut inflammation. Immunotoxicity–WGA induces thymus atrophy in rats, and anti-WGA antibodies in human blood have been shown to cross-react with other proteins, indicating that they may contribute to autoimmunity . In fact, WGA appears to play a role in celiac disease (CD) that is entirely distinct from that of gluten, due to significantly higher levels of IgG and IgA antibodies against WGA found in patients with CD, when compared with patients with other intestinal disorders.
NeurotoxicityWGA can cross your blood-brain barrier through a process called “adsorptive endocytosis,” pulling other substances with it. WGA may attach to your myelin sheath and is capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain target neurons. Excitotoxicity–Wheat, dairy, and soy contain exceptionally high levels of glutamic and aspartic acid, which makes them all potentially excitotoxic. Excitotoxicity is a pathological process where glutamic and aspartic acid cause an over-activation of your nerve cell receptors, which can lead to calcium-induced nerve and brain injury. These two amino acids may contribute to neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, and other nervous system disorders such as epilepsy, ADD/ADHD and migraines.
Cytotoxicity—WGA has been demonstrated to be cytotoxic to both normal and cancerous cell lines, capable of inducing either cell cycle arrest or programmed cell death (apoptosis). Disrupts Endocrine Function—WGA may contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance by blocking the leptin receptor in your hypothalamus. It also binds to both benign and malignant thyroid nodules, and interferes with the production of secretin from your pancreas, which can lead to digestive problems and pancreatic hypertrophy.
Cardiotoxicity—WGA has a potent, disruptive effect on platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, which plays a key role in tissue regeneration and safely removing neutrophils from your blood vessels. Adversely Affects Gastrointestinal Functionby causing increased shedding of the intestinal brush border membrane, reducing the surface area, and accelerating cell loss and shortening of villi. It also causes cytoskeleton degradation in intestinal cells, contributing to cell death and increased turnover, and decreases levels of heat shock proteins in gut epithelial cells, leaving them more vulnerable to damage.

As we noted earlier, the highest amounts of WGA is found in whole wheat, including its sprouted form, which is touted as being the most healthful form of all … The traditional ways of addressing many of these anti-nutrients is, in fact, by sprouting, fermenting and cooking. However, lectins are designed to withstand degradation through a wide range of pH and temperatures. WGA lectin is particularly tough because it’s actually formed by the same disulfide bonds that give strength and resilience to vulcanized rubber and human hair.

And Last but not least everyone’s favorite let’s play doctor site….WEBMD



So Yes you can reverse this and tighten up those junctions again with Dr. Amanda Hoffman ND who can assist you on an individualized plan to heal your gut and take back your HEALTH!

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