What is Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut)?

Hundreds of books are being written about intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.” I want to share with you the great explanation my mentor Dr. Tom O’Bryan wrote in The Autoimmune Fix.

Tom O’Bryan about intestinal permeability:

“To understand leaky gut, you must understand the anatomy of the small intestine, which is where the real work of digestion occurs. In the small intestine, food is broken down into molecules that will either continue through the digestive tract to be eliminated from the body or else pass through the lining of the small intestine into the bloodstream. The… lining of the intestines is only one cell thick. It functions like a cheesecloth: Only small molecules are supposed to get through into the bloodstream. One of the reasons that the small intestine is 20-plus feet long is that some foods are more difficult to digest…into particles small enough to fit through the cheesecloth. When the cheesecloth gets torn, however, due to inflammation, then larger molecules, called macromolecules, can get through the cheesecloth and into the bloodstream before they have been completely broken down into the raw materials to rebuild our bodies.
“When these macromolecules enter the bloodstream, the immune system says, ‘Whoa, what’s this? I don’t recognize this big thing as a nutrient I can use to make new bone cells or muscle cells. I better fight this.’ [So] now your body makes antibodies to these macromolecules. If it’s tomatoes, you now have elevated antibodies to tomatoes. It it’s gluten, you make antibodies to [gluten]. Your bloodstream has become a river of toxicity. Your immune system, in an effort to protect you, creates collateral damage wherever your weakest link is. There are people who do a food allergy test and come back with positive results to 15 foods, and they say, ‘OMG, that’s everything I eat.’ Of course it is; your immune system is trying to protect you from the toxic macromolecules that entered the bloodstream too early—before they were fully digested…you are faced with a flood of inflammation initiating the autoimmune spectrum. In all cases of autoimmune disease, increased permeability appears to precede.
“Dr. Alessio Fasano, the chair of pediatric gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital, who trains every pediatric gastroenterologist who graduates from Harvard Medical School, shared this analogy…Imagine the Great Wall of China is made of a single layer of cells. The Great Wall was built to keep the enemy outside, but every few hundred yards there are checkpoints where people can come and go, under tightly controlled surveillance. These checkpoints in the intestine are called tight junctions. When the checkpoints are well maintained, you won’t have an enemy invasion. But once something goes wrong, and there is a breach of this checkpoint, an uncontrolled passage of instigators can come through and create damage.”

Do you have a leaky gut?
What is the most accurate way to find out if you have a leaky gut? The Vibrant Laboratories Intestinal Permeability test ($349), which is available through me.

If you add in a full gluten/wheat component to this test ($50), the Intestinal Permeability test turns into the Wheat Zoomer test ($399). The Wheat Zoomer is three tests in one: Intestinal permeability (leaky gut) panel; complete wheat/gluten/celiac test; and test for status of your IgG and IgA to show the levels of your immune defense.

With this diagnostic test, the first of it’s kind in the world with 99% accuracy, we can then take the proper steps to rebuild your gut!  Since a leaky gut is the “upstream” of the downstream of all autoimmune disease, healing the gut is critical to healing from any one of 300 autoimmune disorders.
For more information and to get started, please contact me through WordPress or at http://www.vhHealth.com


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