Leaky gut

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Leaky gut is a name used to describe intestinal or bowel hyperpermeability. Tight junctions (TJs) represent the major barrier within the pathway between intestinal epithelial cells that line the digestion tract. Disruption of TJs leads to intestinal hyperpermeability (the so-called "leaky gut") which has been proposed by some researchers to involve a relationship with acute and chronic diseases such as systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, allergies, asthma, and autism.


A trio of factors including an aberrant intestinal microbiota, a "leaky" intestinal mucosal barrier, and altered intestinal immune responsiveness are hypothesised to play a role in the failure to form tolerance, resulting in the autoimmunity that underlies type 1 diabetes.

A lack of mucosal integrity (leaky gut) with consecutive local and systemic inflammation and dysfunction of transport proteins may worsen the clinical symptoms of chronic heart failure. A 'leaky' bowel wall may lead to translocation of bacteria and/or endotoxin, which may be an important stimulus for inflammatory cytokine activation. Although it remains unclear whether increased adherent bacteria in patients with chronic heart failure are a primary or secondary event and whether they contribute to systemic inflammation. Further studies are needed to...
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