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Is Your Immune System Being Compromised?

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Ulcerative Colitis related image Photo: Getty Images

I was surprised to learn that 70 percent of the immune system receptors are located within the gut or intestine, and that the permeability of the gut plays a significant part in a variety of medical conditions.

The liver works along with the gut in detoxifying the body of harmful agents which can then be excreted. Positive chemicals can be provided to the body.

According to Dr. Leo Galland of The Foundation for Integrated Medicine, the cost of detoxification is high with the generation of free radicals and antioxidants which compromise the intestinal barrier function. Compromised intestinal barrier function can cause disease directly by immunological mechanisms.

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that is also referred to as increased intestinal permeability. It is believed that this increase can result in toxic “leaking” into the body, resulting in an autoimmune response.

Many of the symptoms stated to be associated with increased intestinal permeability are said to include abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity.

It’s interesting that almost every yogurt company now has some product which claims to correct these bowel issues in part by replacement of the normal bowel flora. While the Dannon Company settled a lawsuit in 2009 relating to false advertising relating to Activia, it is well-known that antibiotics and other medications can alter the normal bacterial flora of the body.

Replenishing this flora needs to come from somewhere. Dannon claims that it wanted to avoid distraction regarding its advertising and was required to change the wording on the packaging but still claims to contain probiotics which “interact with the immune system”.

The medical community has in recent years focused much of its attention on just what we are eating and how these substances are affecting our physical condition. Things such as refined sugars, processed foods and certain types of fats are now discouraged, while whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean meats such as chicken and fish are favored instead.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned as the result of increased permeability of the gut, perhaps experimenting with a change in diet for several weeks may be beneficial.


Foundation for Integrated Medicine - LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE by Leo Galland, M.D.." What is Integrated Medicine?. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

"Todd Caldecott | Intestinal Permeability Syndrome." Todd Caldecott | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/healing/disease/163-intestinal-sermeability-syndrome

"Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome." Evenbetterhealth.com Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. http://www.evenbetterhealth.com/Intestinal-Permeability_Leaky-Gut-Syndrome.php

"Danactive Lawsuit | Dannon settles false advertising lawsuit over Activia, DanActive yogurt - Los Angeles Times." Featured Articles From The Los Angeles Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/19/business/fi-yogurt-settlement19

"II. The intestine as a sensory organ: neural, endocrine, and immune responses ." AJP - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology . N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2012. http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/277/5/G922

"The Intestine/Immune Connection : Vitabase." Vitabase Nutritional Supplements and Health Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2012.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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