Time Until Next Dispatch order Before 4PM for same day dispatch

Your Cart is Empty

Leaky Gut Syndrome

February 13, 2019 5 min read

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Is Leaky gut syndrome a real thing? The phenomenon called “leaky gut” has gained a bit of media attention lately. Although many mainstream medical professionals do not recognise leaky gut as a “real” condition, there is scientific evidence that proves leak gut does exist and may be associated with multiple health problems.

Leaky gut syndrome is defined as a reduce barrier to the passage of molecules from the intestine into the wall of the intestine and from there, possibly into the body.

The human digestive tract is where food is broken down and nutrients are absorbed. But did you know that the digestive system also plays an important role in protecting the body from harmful substances. The walls of the intestine act as barrier, controlling what enters the bloodstream. When we talk about intestinal permeability we are referring to how easily a substance can pass through the intestinal wall.

A possible cause of leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability. Hyperpermeability simply means the intestinal lining has become more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening process is no longer functioning appropriately. This can potentially lead to substances being “leaked” into the bloodstream. It is when these tight junctions of the intestinal wall become loose, that the gut becomes more permeable, which may allow bacteria and toxins to pass from the gut into the blood stream. When the gut becomes “leaky” and these bacteria and toxins have entered the bloodstream, it can cause extensive inflammation possibly resulting in an immune system trigger reaction.

The causes of leaky gut remain a medical mystery. The medical professions are still trying to determine exactly what causes it. Never the less medical professionals do agree that increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability exists.

Studies have connected increased intestinal hyperpermeability with
multiple chronic diseases such as:

  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Food allergies

The gut is considered the second brain known as the enteric nervous system. The brain in the gut has a mind of its own that guides our feelings, moods, certain behaviours and reactions and plays a major role in our happiness and misery. When the gut is inflamed, infected with pathogens, not functioning optimally or the gut is leaky production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters will be impaired leading to neurological manifestations because the gut has lost the ability to effectively absorb nutrients or convert the into vital brain chemicals.

Leaky gut affects the whole body including the brain. The brain communicates with the gut via the enteric nervous system. When there is a communication difficulty from the gut to the brain or from the brain to the gut, health is compromised!

Factors that could potentially play a role in leaky gut are:

  • Excessive sugar intake

    When there is excess glucose in our blood stream, it triggers an insulin response from the pancreas; this in turn causes organs such as liver and muscles to absorb more glucose from our blood so that it does not get stored as fat in these organs which are already filled with glycogen (a storage form of carbohydrate). This is why it is advisable to reduce your sugar intake.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

    NSAIDs block the production of prostaglandins, which are natural substances in the body that help regulate inflammation, pain and other functions. By blocking these substances, NSAIDs cause an increase in inflammation and pain.

    NSAIDs also irritate the digestive system by reducing blood flow, which can lead to diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. When this happens, it’s common for people to take more NSAIDs as a way to reduce their symptoms. This can cause further damage to the lining of the intestines, which increases the risk for leaky gut syndrome.

  •  Excessive alcohol intake

    When you drink alcohol, it damages your intestinal lining and allows toxins into your bloodstream. This is known as leaky gut syndrome or impaired gut barrier function (IGBF). If this occurs frequently over time it can increase your risk for developing many diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, heart disease and more!
  • Nutrient deficiencies

    The body uses nutrients to repair and maintain the intestinal barrier. When you don't get enough nutrients, your gut can't do its job properly. This can lead to leaky gut syndrome.
  • Stress

    Stress can cause leaky gut syndrome when it changes the way you digest food. This can happen in several ways:

    Your body releases stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, when you're stressed out. These hormones increase blood sugar levels and activate the fight-or-flight response in your body. When this happens, your digestive system shuts down temporarily so that your body can focus on more important activities like fighting or fleeing from a threat.

    Eating high-fat foods or overeating can also make digestion sluggish, which contributes to leaky gut syndrome. It is best to also add more stress-busitng food in your diet.

  •  Inflammation

    When your intestines are inflamed, they become "leaky" — meaning that they allow large molecules from your gut into your bloodstream where they don't belong. This causes inflammation throughout your entire body due to an increased workload on your liver and kidneys.

  • Lack of zinc

    Zinc deficiency impairs digestion by reducing secretions from stomach acid-producing cells called parietal cells; this leads to decreased production of hydrochloric acid (HCL), which breaks down protein into amino acids for absorption1

    A lack of HCL leads to malabsorption of nutrients such as vitamins B12 and K2; this causes an inflammatory cascade that damages intestinal villi (tiny hair-like projections).

  • Poor gut health

    The main cause of leaky gut syndrome is a lack of good bacteria in your intestines (gut). This causes an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast inside your digestive tract, which then triggers an immune response by your body's white blood cells. The white blood cells try to fight off these invaders by killing them, but this results in damage to the tight junctions between your intestinal wall's cells.
  • Yeast overgrowth

    Yeast overgrowth, also known as candida, is a common problem that can lead to leaky gut syndrome. It occurs when Candida albicans, the most common fungus found in humans, grows out of control in the body. Candida overgrowth can occur when you have an imbalance of the normal intestinal flora, which is the balance of good and bad microorganisms in your gut.

  • Hormonal deficiencies

    Hormones play a major role in regulating the body's health. They regulate everything from brain function to metabolism and even sexual development. When hormones are imbalanced, it can cause problems throughout the body.

    The hormone estrogen has been linked to leaky gut syndrome because it helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining. When estrogen levels are too low (as they often are during menopause), it can cause problems with digestive function. For example, it may make it easier for harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream through your intestines and colonize in your gut wall. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, gas and abdominal pain — all of which are common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.

    Estrogen also helps keep inflammation under control by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow throughout the body. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, this may cause inflammation throughout your digestive tract that contributes to leaky gut syndrome.

Methods of improving gut health include removing inflammatory substances that irritate and damage the gut. Consuming fermented foods, high fibre foods, including probiotic and prebiotic food sources, eating nutrient dense foods, drink plenty of water. Minimising stress is crucial in gut restoration.

If you feel you have leaky gut the key to addressing it is finding the underlying causes and prioritising a health gut as a lifestyle change. Consult your medical health practitioner. In my practice I conduct a comprehensive digestive stool analysis testing which provides an extensive look at the health and function of your gut. Book a consultation to get your stool kit.

Shop Gut Health Supplements

L Glutamine
Sold out
Multi Greens-Vpa Australia

Sold out
Chia Health Drink - 350ML (12 Pack)

Sold out

VPA Australia

VPA is Australia's leading supplement supplier. The highest quality 100% pure products sold at wholesale prices with FREE Shipping.

Also in Diet and Nutrition

10 Quick Pre-workout Bites to Power Your Training-VPA Australia
10 Quick Pre-workout Bites to Power Your Training

May 22, 2024 5 min read

Fuel your workout with these 10 quick and delicious pre-workout snack ideas. From smoothie bowls to power-packed pancakes, find the perfect bite to boost your training session.
Read More
Banish the Belly Bloat: Simple Solutions for a Flatter Feeling-VPA Australia
Banish the Belly Bloat: Simple Solutions for a Flatter Feeling

May 20, 2024 6 min read

Discover simple solutions, exercises, and dietary tips to banish belly bloat and achieve a flatter stomach. Learn more at VPA's blog on diet and nutrition.
Read More
Navigating the Golden Years: Enhancing Mobility as You Age-VPA Australia
Navigating the Golden Years: Enhancing Mobility as You Age

May 08, 2024 4 min read

Learn why mobility matters as you age, discover your mobility toolkit, fuel your active lifestyle with the right food, and make staying active fun and sustainable. Read more on VPA.
Read More