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gutjnl-2018-August-67-8-1373-F1.mediumFunctional gut problems such as IBS remain a considerable challenge to both clinician and patient. Finding safe and simple interventions as therapeutic strategies is an important part of ongoing research. Many practitioners are familiar with the use of the amino acid L-glutamine as a nutrient that confers benefit to gastro intestinal tracts experiencing increased levels of permeability and translocation of immune activating components such as LPS.

The microbiome is one of the most exciting discoveries of 21st century biomedicine, and scientific heavyweights as prominent as Craig Ventner, whose company sequenced the human genome, are now sequencing the microbiome. The microbiome is the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space–the mass of trillions of microbes that live on and in your body. Most of them are in your large intestine, but they thrive in your mouth, on your skin, and even in your bloodstream. The human gut contains on average: 40,000 bacterial species, 9 million unique bacterial genes and 100 trillion microbial cells. These hundred trillion microbes render us a walking, breathing ecosystem–more microbe than man.

Gluten Appears Related to Autism

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 by

As a Nutritional Therapist the concepts of gluten reactivity outside of the diagnosis of coeliac disease has been an easy leap of faith. Over the last few years as a greater understanding of different gluten sensitivity conditions have been uncovered, many scientists are revisiting conditions to see if there may be a correlation of clinical relevance.

In one study published in the open access journal PLOS researchers have found elevated antibodies to gluten proteins of wheat in children with autism in comparison to those without autism. The results also indicated an association between the elevated antibodies and the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms in the affected children.[1] They did not find any connection, however, between the elevated antibodies and coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder known to be triggered by gluten.

Leaky Gut Induces Visceral Obesity

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 by | Comments: 2

From its dark days as a concept dismissed by most Drs and scientists as being suitable only for the more eccentric alternative medicine crowd, the idea that the gastrointestinal tract may have varying levels and quality of exclusionary capacity has slowly become mainstream-ish.

A paper out in the prestigious Nature Journal – Obesity, has raised the question that altered visceral adiposity – ‘fat around the middle’ may be initiated and promoted by altered barrier integrity.[1]

There are questions in the literature, at Dr’s Surgeries, in hospitals and in clinics relating to the existence of gluten generated problems including, increased gut permeability and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients that do not diagnostically qualify as being coeliac.

In fact many people will state they are aware that not eating gluten helps them, and aids well -being , and may even resolve quite significant physical distress. They note recovery on a GFD and yet still have problems achieving medical and family support for their activities.

As part of a nutritional strategy to impart improvements to mucosal barrier in compromised patients the use of a naturally occurring growth factor has been explored in many studies and in some supplements in clinical use. Glandular extract derived from bovine sources that contributes epithelial growth factor (EGF) offer an additional strategy for epithelial tissue repair. EGF is a normal constituent of saliva production during the act of eating, is also secreted into the gut lumen and found in colostrum and milk. The purpose is to aid in the management of epithelial tissue health and it is naturally degraded by pancreatic enzymes during digestion.

The amino acid L-Arginine is suspected through animal models to increase intraluminal production of EGF and may explain why this protein is a useful method for repairing intestinal damage.[1]

Michael Ash looks at leaky gut with a contemporary approach to investigation, relevance and restoration. It is quite clear that in order to extract nutrients and other sentinel information carrying agents the barrier that divides the contents of the gastric lumen from the host must be permeable. The question that has interested clinicians for many years is – when is it too permeable and what does that mean in terms of health and illness.

A paper in the March edition of Mucosal Immunology explores this concept in some detail and delivers some much needed information and potential direction in terms of dietary management and risk.[1]

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