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What is Leaky Gut?


Leaky gut syndrome refers to the weakened gut barrier that readily exposes individuals to food antigens, toxins, and foreign microbes. A major task of the intestinal mucosa is to prevent harmful substances from penetrating the mucosa and into the internal environment of the body. When this protective function is disrupted, creating “leaky gut, it increases inflammation and triggers or exacerbates autoimmune disorders. 


What Causes “Leaky Gut”? 

The causes of intestinal permeability are bacterial overgrowth, food sensitivities, NSAIDs, antibiotics, autoimmunity, infections, stress, and alcohol consumption.


What Are the Factors that Determine “Leaky Gut”?

Our office provides a simple blood test that shows imbalances in zonulin, histamine, diamine oxidase (DAO), and lipopolysaccharides (LPS).


Zonulin is a protein that leads to the breakdown of tight gap junctions in the GI lining, tearing down the body’s defenses and opening up the system to increase inflammation. 



Histamine is a chemical that plays an important role not only in anaphylactic allergy, but also at diseased sites within the gastrointestinal tract.



DAO is one of the major enzymes involving in degrading extracellular histamine.



LPS is a major constant of gram-negative bacteria cell membrane, as well as a bacterial endotoxin made by bacteria in the body. LPS elicits strong immune responses in our body.


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Anna Chung Patient Care Coordinator

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