When it comes to human health, the intestinal barrier is of critical importance. An intact intestinal barrier facilitates absorption of nutrients and prevents the entry of toxins and pathogens into the human body, whereas an impaired intestinal barrier allows their entry, which may trigger local or systemic inflammation and disease.
Increased intestinal permeability is a new target for disease prevention and therapy. Intestinal permeability involves the loss of integrity between the epithelial cells of the small intestine. It has been linked to a wide range of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments for intestinal permeability; however, accumulating evidence supports are a range of dietary and non-pharmacological interventions, including fibre, vitamin D, zinc, and probiotics.
In this episode, Naturopath and Nutritionist Brooke Schiller provides an update on intestinal permeability, including underlying causes, clinical testing methods, and therapeutic interventions for improving and maintaining intestinal barrier integrity.