INTESTINAL HYPERPERMEABILITY: HOW TO PREVENT?
Intestinal hyperpermeability results in increased permeability of the intestinal wall allowing nutrients and bacteria to pass into the blood. What are the health risks? What are the causes of this disruption? How to restore normal patency? Everything you need to know about intestinal hyperpermeability.
Focus on the intestinal mucosa
Our intestinal ecosystem is made up of 3 elements: the intestinal flora, the intestinal mucosa, and the intestinal immune system. In this article, we will focus more particularly on the intestinal mucosa.
The intestinal mucosa which is in other words the inner wall of the small intestine is a very thin and wrinkled membrane that coats the intestine. The cells that make up the mucous membrane are renewed every 2 days, they are linked together by a structure called a tight junction which allows nutrients to pass (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, etc.) and acts as a barrier to potentially toxic substances: parasites, viruses, bacteria, incompletely digested food… The intestinal mucosa thus plays a filtering role.
What is intestinal hyperpermeability?
Some people may be prone to leaky gut also known as “leaky gut syndrome”. In them, the intestinal mucosa is weakened and does not function properly, letting undesirable substances pass into the blood. This poor seal would cause bothersome symptoms and could be the cause of intestinal but also extra-intestinal pathologies such as autoimmune diseases and metabolic disorders.
What are the causes?
Intestinal permeability is regulated by internal factors (hormones, inflammation, etc.) and external factors (diet, stress, micro-organisms, drug treatments, etc.). The tightness of the intestinal wall can be altered in particular by excessive consumption of alcohol and processed sugary products, anti-inflammatories, or even chemotherapy.
What are the signs of increased intestinal permeability?
The intestinal hyperpermeability would be involved in the appearance of many symptoms and diseases:
- Inflammatory and chronic bowel diseases (IBD);
- Digestive disorders (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome);
- Certain skin diseases (eczema, acne);
- Certain food allergies or intolerances (lactose, gluten);
- Mood disorders (depression, anxiety);
- Joint pain ;
- Fragile immune system;
- Unexplained chronic fatigue.
- Obesity ;
- Celiac disease.
No causal link has yet been proven between intestinal hyperpermeability and the appearance of these symptoms. Indeed, we do not know if they are the consequence of an intestinal disorder or if the intestinal disorder is symptomatic of a pathology already present. The fact remains that intestinal regulation is now an avenue for the prevention and/or management of these diseases.
How to restore intestinal permeability?
There are ways to restore intestinal permeability, in particular by acting on your diet. To preserve your gut, opt for an anti-inflammatory diet.
Consume foods rich in antioxidants and rich in fiber: fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, green tea, oilseeds, whole grains, turmeric, ginger… And give preference as much as possible to foods from organic farming or sustainable farming. On the other hand, it is better to limit the consumption of so-called “pro-inflammatory” foods, likely to disturb the balance of the intestinal ecosystem: red meat, alcohol, fried foods, unfermented dairy products, refined sugars, processed products…
In addition to these measures, taking food supplements can contribute to the proper functioning of the intestines thanks to the supply of nutrients aimed at limiting the phenomenon of intestinal hyperpermeability and maintaining the balance of the intestinal flora.
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