Is ‘Leaky Gut’ a real phenomenon?

Written by The Nutrition Academy

Time To Read: 3 minutes

July 28, 2017

Leaky gut is a modern health phenomenon that is currently taking spotlight in the health world.  Gut issues are on the rise and the link between inflammatory diseases are showing strong links to leaky gut.  Research is pointing toward the gut as our ‘second brain’, thus questioning current methods of treatment requiring a new perspective on health.

It has been highlighted that 70% of our immune system is in the digestive system (Mellowship, 2006).  Therefore, if your gut permeability is compromised, the tight junctions of the lining will allow toxins to pass through to the blood stream, resulting in inflammation of the body.

Symptoms of leaky gut are

  • nutritional deficiencies
  • sore joints
  • arthritis
  • skin disorders
  • ulcerative colitis
  • diverticulitis
  • autoimmune disorders
  • mental health issues
  • autism
  • headaches
  • irratibilty
  • poor concentration
  • fatigue
  • however, this is not limited (Kajander et al., 2005)

As the Western world continues to engage in food production revolving around refined processed foods we will continue to see the rate of leaky gut and inflammatory disease rise (Mellowship, 2006).  It has been found that gluten, dairy, soy, and chemicals added to our food supply erode the gut lining.  Kajander et al. (2005) stated that leaky gut syndrome is caused by a substance or combination of substances, such as allergens or toxins, that initiate inflammation in the digestive tract.  This inflammation allows for large molecules to pass across the intestinal barrier including molecules from proteins, fats, parasites, bacteria, and fungi (note table 1) (Kajander et al., 2005).

As human tissues have protein antigens similar in structure to these other proteins, the scene is set for autoimmune disease development (Kajander et al., 2005).  Mellowship (2006) added that there are varied causes of leaky gut and these can range from coeliac disease, candida, poor diet, stress, alcohol, dysbiosis and many more.  To heal from leaky gut it can take up to two years depending on the severity of damage the gut has endured (Kajander et al., 2005).  Mellowship (2006) states that healing requires eliminating toxins in the individuals environment and food intake, as well as incorporating foods that heal the gut.









Ref: Eisenstein, M. (2016)

Healing your gut and supporting your health is imperative to good health.  If you wish to find out more on healing from leaky gut and taking control of your health please contact me here 

Elspeth Haswell-Smith


Eisenstein, M. (2016). Bacterial broadband. Nature. Vol. 533

Kajander, Kaiander, Hatakka, Poussa, Farkkila, and Korpela., (2005). A probiotic mixture alleviates symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome patients: a controlled 6-month intervention. Ai- iment Pharmacoi Ther. September 1, 2005; 22(5):387-39’l

Mellowship, D. (2007). Leaky gut syndrome – a modern digestive disorder. Positive Health, pg 30-32, April 2006.

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