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Transient Leaky Gut Syndrome

Jul 07, 2019 10:30AM

A non-chronic condition that can cause big problems for the body

By Michael Biamonte

The word transient means “not lasting for a long time, passing in time, or not staying in the same place for a long time.” For our purposes, then, transient leaky gut is a leaky gut episode that can manifest for short to moderate periods of time and then clear up, only to return again. The key is, it’s not chronic.

Leaky gut syndrome has been well described in scientific literature as increased intestinal permeability that can accompany various intestinal diseases as well as severe trauma or major surgery. In these conditions, leaky gut syndrome results in a poorer outcome for the patient.

However, it also can accompany a much wider range of health conditions. For example, research has shown that a significant percentage of children with autism have increased intestinal permeability. Likewise, studies I’ve conducted demonstrate that almost three out of four children with attention deficit disorder also have leaky gut syndrome–most without any obvious intestinal symptoms.

Other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, food or airborne allergies, chemical sensitivities or intolerances, and arthritic pain in the joints and connective tissue, are signs of leaky gut.

Causes and Effects

The intestinal cells are nutritionally demanding, and so a lack of nutritional variety can result in a leaky gut. Essential fatty acids; phospholipids (such as lecithin); the amino acid L-glutamine; vitamins (especially certain B vitamins); antioxidants; and micronutrients (especially zinc) are all important for maintaining the integrity of the intestine’s leak-proof lining.

The typical North American diet, therefore, is not ideal for avoiding leaky gut syndrome. Some medications (especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics); excessive alcohol consumption; food allergies or intolerances; and overgrowth of undesirable intestinal microbes are also commonly associated with leaky gut syndrome.

This syndrome results in large quantities of partially digested food molecules, as well as debris from bacteria and yeast organisms, passing directly through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream and lymph. It has been scientifically demonstrated that live microorganisms can pass directly through the intestinal wall by the thousands when there is a leaky gut.

It isn’t hard to imagine that leaky gut syndrome can cause a significant amount of stress on the internal workings of the body.

Testing and Treatment

There are several ways to detect leaky gut syndrome. Nutritionally oriented health-care practitioners can order the lactulose-mannitol intestinal permeability test (the original test for leaky gut syndrome) or the new intestinal permeability breath test. In addition, a comprehensive stool test can measure areas of intestinal health to infer leaky gut.

An especially promising treatment is Ultra GI Replenish Medical Food, which is specially formulated to support the increased nutritional needs of patients with compromised gut function and malabsorption associated with some of the most challenging digestive disorders. Designed to “reboot” the gut by restoring a healthy foundation, it offers a targeted nutritional approach to replenishing the intestinal lining and supporting the beneficial gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota established through early nourishment.

Ultra GI Replenish features a key prebiotic known as 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), which is identical to one found in breast milk. Breakthrough research suggests that 2’-FL may be significant in promoting a healthy balance of beneficial GI microbiota. This advanced medical food also features a unique combination of macro- and micronutrients to complement a carefully designed dietary plan and deliver a lifestyle medicine approach unlike any other.

Michael Biamonte owns the Biamonte Center for Clinical Nutrition, located at 2185 34th Ave., Queens, NY. To schedule a consultation or read an extended version of this article (and many others), visit

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