Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is also known as hyper permeable gut or dysfunctional gut barriers. It is a digestive condition that affects the lining of the intestines. The lining of the intestine consist of epithelial cells. In normal healthy individuals, the gaps between these epithelial cells exhibits some degree of permeability that allows nutrients, water and ions to pass through the gut to the main bloodstream. A barrier function is maintained at the same time to keep food, harmful pathogens and potentially harmful substances from leaving the intestine.
Unfortunately in the case of LGS, food fragments, protein and bacteria are able to reach the central immune locations in the gut. It then mount an immune response against these food and pathogens, causing food allergies/sensitivities and other chronic inflammation. This can in turn lead to a further change in gut microbiome. Other autoimmnune disease (eg. eczema, hives), inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), irritable bowel syndrome, type I diabetes has also been linked to LGS.
While some has a genetic susceptibility to an autoimmune disorder, it actually requires a contact between the trigger and the immune system to set of the autoimmune progression. In theory, the trigger will require a leaky gut to successfully come into contact with our immune system.
LGS can affect anyone at any age. Like autoimmune disease, some of us may have a genetic predisposition and may be more sensitive to changes in the lining of the digestive system but our DNA is not to blame for LGS.
Stress, mood disorders, modern diet, environmental factors may actually be the main driver of causing the increase in the gaps between the junctions, leading to hyper intestinal permeability.
Recent research study has shown that having a low biodiversity of gut microbes and low concentration of certain beneficial probiotics (dysbiosis or inbalance) is one of the main causes for resulting in the increase of gaps between the tight junctions. A deficiency of Vitamin A has also been linked to LGS. Vitamin A has been shown to possibly seal the tight junctions between the epithelial cells of the lining and interact with the beneficial microbes in our gut microbiome.
In this blog, we are addressing on how milk kefir may be able to heal leaky gut. Milk kefir being a rich reservoir of a wide diverse range of bacterial and yeast, they are also rich in Vitamin A. The probiotics in milk kefir possess the ability to reach the intestines alive, colonize and regenerate the gut ecosystem. Furthermore, certain microbes in milk kefir are able to combat pathogens such as Salmonella in which individuals with LGS are exceptionally vulnerable to. Adding milk kefir in our diet is the fastest way to introduce a wide biodiversity of microbiome in our gut.
Prevention is always better than cure. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet can strengthen our gut lining and overall health, thereby preventing the onset of many diseases. Whole foods are the best nourishment for our gut. Consume more probiotics to boost beneficial gut bacteria, foods rich in prebiotic fiber, such as vegetables, whole grains such as quinoa and avoiding added sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, emulsifiers and processed food. Adequate exercise and sleep, avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics can also lead to better gut health, thereby preventing LGS.