Hello, I am Angela Pifer the creator of the Clean and Lean Revolution System. Here’s your question today:

True or False: All Autoimmune Conditions Start with a Leaky Gut

Gluten is a protein complex in wheat, rye and barley. I choose to promote a gluten free plan for a few reasons. The main reason is that gluten is inflammatory and has been scientifically shown to cause leaky gut. These are peer reviewed published and repeated studies. A discovery just a few years ago of a small molecule called zonulin revolutionized our ability to understand the gut and permeability and how gluten impacts a wide range of health conditions from cancer to autoimmune disease to inflammation and food sensitivities. Based on Dr. Fasano’s research, we know that one of the most powerful triggers to open the zonulin door is gluten. As zonulin level rise in response to gluten, the seal between the intestinal cells diminishes, opening up spaces between cells that allow all sorts of things to pass right through. This is called “leaky gut.”

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The term leaky gut has circulated among integrative and functional medicine practitioners, including myself, for the last couple of decades. We have always known that it has been there. With the new scientific discovery of zonulin, this term leaky gut is now making its way into mainstream medicine.

Most current research in functional medicine is pointing to the gut as the starting point for all chronic disease. Why is this? The gut cell barrier that protects us from the outside world is one cell layer deep. If the seal between the intestinal cells loses its integrity, this will result in an immune response.  For example, all autoimmune conditions start in the gut. Because of gut inflammation and a leaky gut, intact particles of food pass across the gut lining into the blood stream. At this point, the only defense our body has is an immune response. If genetically susceptible for an autoimmune condition, leaky gut is present and a stressful event occurs, the genes for the autoimmune condition can be switched on. You now have an autoimmune condition. To have this autoimmune condition switched on, you must first have leaky gut.

There is a small percent of the population that could eat gluten their entire life, and never have an issue. Instead of waiting for a chronic condition to rear its head OR an autoimmune condition to be triggered, I prefer to keep the body in optimal health and work to prevent these conditions by removing gluten from the diet.


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