The Epidemic of Leaky Gut

Posted on 5/23/2013 by Dr. Adrian den Boer
Categories: allergies, autism, autoimmune, leaky gut, neurological health

Dating back to its 1908 scientific discovery in Western Europe, the term “leaky gut” is making a comeback in mainstream culture. As a well-researched topic, leaky gut is a major factor in most chronic inflammatory diseases and brain disorders. In fact, so many other conditions are tied to leaky gut that if I could think of one thing that affects the entire body, this is it! I estimate that about 70% of new DBC patients have leaky gut syndrome along with other things, so addressing this issue is absolutely paramount and a cornerstone of DBC.
What is “leaky gut,” and what is the cause?
Similar to its literal translation, it’s where there is a less selective permeable membrane in the gut that allows undigested food particles to slip into the bloodstream unchecked.
Thanks to twentieth and twenty-first century toxins, new-to-man foods like genetically modified foods, poor lifestyle choices, genetic expression, and health history, this condition has made an incredible resurgence.
The consumption of medications, especially antibiotics and NSAIDs introduced early when the gut is not mature, along with the lack of breast feeding from the ‘60’s has now set up entire generations for problems with their gut wall.
What are the problems associated with leaky gut?
Some of the related problems of leaky gut include an antibody response in the blood-brain barrier, which is an interface that separates the brain from the circulatory system and protects the central nervous system from potentially harmful chemicals. A compromised blood-brain barrier causes systemic autoimmune reactions; but, folks, this is not an immune system issue. It’s the immune system getting the wrong input from the gut due to its leaky cell membranes.
The varied symptoms of the immune system can be as varied as thyroiditis to endometriosis, to osteoarthritis or even the lack of ability to get out of bed in the morning. Depression and brain syndromes are also linked to leaky gut, such as bi-polar disease, schizophrenia, and all cases of autism (Adams, Johansen, Powell, Quig & Rubin, 2011). Case in point, I’ve treated many autism cases and I have yet to find one stool analysis that has normal gut bacteria.
How do we heal leaky gut at DBC?
Only eating the right foods will not heal the gut. At this point, it needs super nutrients. I often use the amino acid L-glutamine in high levels in a product called Glutagenics, which is carried by Nature’s Remedies.
I also recommend different probiotics from Nature’s Remedies that are appropriate for the patient; some kill yeast and some resupply the gut with normal bacteria. The NCFM strains are preferred.
I always make sure the probiotics have proof of clinical research and are checked constantly for viability, though, because genetic drift in this industry is so common. I don’t trust any forms of probiotics until I’ve seen a certification of independent analysis and clinical trials.
Finally, sometimes, leaky gut can be so extensive that complete healing is impossible. Using digestive enzymes, whole foods, probiotics, and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle allows these patients to thrive in spite of leaky gut!
Adams, J., Johansen, L., Powell, L., Quig, D., Rubin, R. Gastrointestinal flora and gastrointestinal status in children with autism--comparisons to typical children and correlation with autism severity. BMC Gastroenterology. 2011 Mar 16;11:22.