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What's Leaky Gut?

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

Our gut is lined with millions and millions of cells and these cells join to form tight junctions. When our food is broken down in the digestive tract, nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the rest of the body.

Leaky Gut or Increased Intestinal Permeability is when the cells lining the gut wall pull apart and allow bacteria and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. This, in turn, can cause inflammation in other parts of our body, as well as our gut.

Some of the symptoms of ‘leaky gut' include:

  • Bloating

  • Gas

  • Cramping

  • Food sensitivities

  • Fatigue

  • Joint pain

  • Headache (3 )

Increased intestinal permeability can play a role in certain gastrointestinal conditions such as Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Irritable bowel syndrome and can be a common denominator of autoimmune diseases.

A molecule called zonulin, regulates gut permeability. Zonulin is overexpressed in people with autoimmune conditions, resulting in increased permeability. Gluten is one factor that can modulate zonulin secretion. Removing gluten can result in serum zonulin levels decreasing and gut barrier integrity improving (2).

Improving gut health.

Gut loving nutrients

One of the best nutrients to help with leaky gut is glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that can help rejuvenate the gut wall by preventing and repairing intestinal permeability.

Probiotics help reduce inflammation and improve microbiome diversity.

A whole food diet should be the foundation for restoring gut health. Eating a diet that is as close to nature as possible.

Certain foods can cause inflammation such as processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine.

Observe how certain foods make you feel.

  • Increase your intake of warm, cooked vegetables.

  • Enjoy slow-cooked lean meats.

  • Add more healthy fats to your meals.

  • Drink plenty of clear water – at least 8 classes per day.

  • Consume fermented foods.

  • Move your body regularly.

  • Get plenty of sleep.

  • Eat at the same time each day.

  • Practice mindful eating and chew your food slowly.

For more information on gut health please get in contact.

Naturopathic consultations available in clinic on the Tweed Coast or Online via Zoom.

Have a great day.

Jules x


1. Marcelo Campos, M., 2017. Leaky Gut: What Is It, And What Does It Mean For You? - Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].

2. Nature and Health, 2017. Meet the Gut Guru. [online] (Living Well annual Guide), p.67. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].

3. Publishing, H., 2018. Putting A Stop To Leaky Gut - Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 August 2020].


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