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  • Writer's pictureOrsolya Szathmari

Increased Intestinal Permeability - what it is and why you should care about it

What is intestinal hyper-permeability?

Intestinal permeability is a membrane related phenomenon. The intestinal wall has a dual function, it is a semipermeable barrier. On one hand, it assures nutrients and water absorption, and substance transport, on the other hand, it keeps pathogens, toxins and other undesirable compounds in the lumen, preventing them from being absorbed by the body. This tight junction structure is highly dynamic and it acts as the first line of defence against pathogens. When tight junctions don't work properly, that could let different substances leak into the bloodstream.

Current scientific evidence shows that leaky gut may contribute to a range of medical conditions.

Why is testing important?

Intestinal permeability measurement is one of the most important tests you can perform to have a view about your overall health and risks of developing many different diseases.

Testing and normalising intestinal permeability are of critical importance because the dysfunction of biological membranes plays a crucial role in the development and progression of chronic diseases.

Intestinal permeability can be measured by different methods but the PEG 400 test is the only exact, reliable, and clinically relevant test .

What substances cause increased intestinal permeability?

Intestinal hyper-permeability is caused primarily by dietary factors, inflammatory mediators and pathogens.

The dietary factors are: grains, cereals, nuts and seeds, dairy, vegetable oils, nightshades, but also alcohol, coffee, tea, medications and dietary supplements.

What might be the health consequences of intestinal hyper-permeability?

With many chronic diseases, such as irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, chronic liver disease, diabetes, food allergies and sensitivities, polycystic ovarian syndrome, IBD and any type of autoimmune conditions, increased intestinal permeability has been observed.

Low intestinal permeability, on the other hand, is associated with low inflammation levels and improvement in many health conditions.

What symptoms are associated with it?

For example, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, headache, skin problems such as rashes, eczema, acne, nutritional deficiencies, brain fog, chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, obesity and different mental conditions.

What do your results mean?

When you get your test result, you will see a curve within or out of the normal, expected range. The more your curve deviates from normal levels, the more important it is for you to take action to fix this problem.

What can you do to improve your results?

You should avoid foods and other substances that damage your gut lining and you should incorporate nutrients that help the healing process. The PKD is the only intervention that was shown to be able to reverse intestinal hyper-permeability.

Other attempts, such as pre-and probiotic supplementation, colostrum, the FODMAP or the popular paleolithic diet all have failed.

Beneficial Effects of Nutrients on Intestinal Integrity

The synergy of vitamins and minerals and the right proportion of macronutrients from the best bioavailable sources need to be consumed.

For example, vitamin A and D play a very important role in the regulation of gastrointestinal homeostasis. These affect the intestinal epithelial integrity, the innate and adaptive immune system, and the gut microbiota. These vitamins are found only in animal foods.

So far, no medication exists that could reverse pathological intestinal permeability. The only proven method that is able to restore the epithelial barrier is the Paleolithic-Ketogenic Diet (PKD). At ICMNI Hungary, laboratory measurements from thousands of patients prove this.

If you are interested and want to know more or if you have any questions, please contact me at .


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