How age-related leaky gut makes you sick and old

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that could be at the root of the health problems experienced by millions. It’s a problem that’s associated with a wide variety of symptoms yet doctors rarely look for it and there is no specific test to confirm you have it.

Think it sounds like the perfect storm to create a health crisis? Well, you’re right.

According to Dr. Robynne K. Chutkan, MD, FASGE Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital Founder and the Medical Director for the Digestive Center for Women, leaky gut can lead to everything from those aching joints to brain fog, fatigue, allergies, chronic sinus infections and unknown rashes.

And, if you suffer from leaky gut, you can go to doctor after doctor without ever receiving a diagnosis or the help you need, leading to hopelessness and despair.

But, there is good news if you suspect leaky gut syndrome is the cause of your symptoms. New research from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and published in PLOS Genetics, found that a change in diet can not only help prevent the development of age-related leaky gut, it can also protect against the systemic inflammation that comes with the disorder.

Skip the inflaming aging foods

Leaky gut is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a condition in which the lining of your gut becomes too permeable, allowing particles that should remain in your digestive tract to cross into your other tissues.

Yet, Kazutaka Akagi, the lead scientist in the Buck study who now runs his own lab at the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Aichi, Japan, noticed something interesting.

He found that a specific gene, known as dMyc, act as a barometer of cellular fitness in intestinal cells. When cells have too little dMyc, they are eliminated, leaving larger and larger gaps in the intestinal wall – something that explains why your risk of leaky gut increases as you age since levels of dMyc naturally decline with age.

So, his team set out to discover whether diet could influence the levels of dMyc in intestinal cells and thus stave off leaky gut.

They performed trials using fruit flies. That may sound strange, but the flies make a good genetic model for the study of human disease. And, they made an important discovery.

The decline of dMyc that happens normally with age was enhanced by a rich Atkins-like diet – in other words, one that was high in fat – and increased intestinal permeability. On the other hand, a restrictive Spartan diet maintained the dMyc level in the flies, preventing leaky gut and, get this — extending their lifespan.

When asked about the results, Professor Pankaj Kapahi, senior scientist on the study said, “The intestinal epithelium is affected by everything that moves through the gut. It would make sense that diet would have a major impact on the health of those cells, especially over a lifetime of eating.”

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Eat better, stop inflammation, live longer

This means that if you’re ready to repair your leaky gut and get rid of the symptoms it causes, changing your diet to increase the levels of dMyc in your intestinal cells is the first step.

As the study found, the key to this is dietary restriction and the elimination of rich foods.

It’s also important to eliminate any food that are specific triggers for your symptoms as my colleague,  Dr. Isaac Eliaz, discusses in his article, Fixing the Leaks in Your Body.

Finally, consider adding the five supplements to repair a leaky gut that Virginia Tims-Lawson recommends.

Don’t wait for your leaky gut to cause a health crisis in your life. Take the steps above today to decrease your intestinal permeability and say goodbye to your symptoms for good.

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  1. Could Leaky Gut Be What’s Troubling You? — The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Does dietary restriction protect against age-related leaky gut? — Buck Institute for Research on Aging
  3. Why the fly? — Manchester Fly Facility
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.