Don’t ya just love it when you’re right?!
If you read some of my posts about what I think the process is in gluten sensitivity, you will see that I think broken body barriers are at the heart of the problem and that we will only heal if we can get the attack on those barriers removed and get them to re-heal. Sounds easy, but isn’t is it?
A study from coeliac research expert Dr Fasano suggests that leaky gut in genetically susceptible people is the cause of gluten illness and sets off the chain of inflammation and auto-immunity which ensues.
My only difference in view is that I do not think that it is just a leaky gut which is the problem. If we know that all body barriers are similar in structure, it may start with the gut, of course, but it is only a matter of time, in my opinion, before other body barriers also become leaky, as I have said before. That’s why I have been working on the Barrier Re-Healing Plan which is almost there.
Below is the abstract from the study, but here is the key hope-filled sentence so you don’t miss it:
these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function.
Remove the word ‘intestinal’ and I think we have it in a nutshell.
The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients and to electrolytes and water homeostasis. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, however, suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the trafficking of macromolecules between the environment and the host through a barrier mechanism. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. This review is timely given the increased interest in the role of a “leaky gut” in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions targeting both the intestine and extraintestinal organs.