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It’s true, the name sounds like an eye-rolling tagline coined by a bored marketing department.
But don’t let the name fool you.
They could have called it “toxin-induced intestinal micro-perforations” but that’s a bit of a mouthful.
Leaky gut is serious and is at the rotten core of IBS, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, Hashimoto’s disease, and dozens of autoimmune disorders.
Leading doctors and researchers estimate that around 80% of the population has some degree of leaky gut . Needless to say, that represents a massive public health issue.
If you want to know how it starts and what you can do to heal it, read on.
Your intestinal wall is the single most vulnerable area of your body. A single layer of cells is all that stands between all the undigested food, fungi, bacteria, and parasites living in your gut and your bloodstream.
Just a single wall of cells joined together by the “glue” of tight junctions. On the other side of this wall are capillaries flanked by immune cells. In fact, around 70% of your immune system resides in your gut.
That’s how important this tiny little wall is.
But there’s one problem. That wall needs to open up to let digested food pass into the bloodstream.
So your body has a “security guard” to check the ID of anything that wants to get in.
Meet zonulin, your gut’s security guard.
It uses complex signaling to check the ID of gut contents, then opens the door just wide enough to let digested food into the bloodstream.
Most digested food is broken down into very small molecules: amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins, etc., so the “door” doesn’t need to open very wide.
When your gut is healthy and your diet is clean, zonulin is great at its job.
But there’s one big problem: fake IDs.
Toxins like glyphosate, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, big globular proteins like gluten, and other compounds act like fake IDs and tell zonulin to open the door even wider than normal. [2-4]
Yeast, bad bacteria and other pathogens hiding out in your intestinal tract release compounds that do the same thing––implicating the microbiome in leaky gut also. 
When zonulin is activated by these fake IDs, it opens the gates to the bloodstream so wide, huge molecules of undigested food can slip through.
This is where the problems begin.
Remember the immune cells just on the other side of the wall?
When they find these big proteins getting through the door, they think it’s a break-in and sound the alarm.
For your immune system, that means sending out pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines that trigger systemic inflammation. 
This kind of inflammation is linked to many different health issues, ranging from arthritis to brain fog to chronic degenerative disease.
The second consequence is that your immune system begins creating antibodies to find and destroy the invading menace. The problem here is that the “menace” is simply undigested food.
The food you normally eat without a problem suddenly appears toxic to your immune system and you can develop a reaction. This is one way you can develop food allergies.
To make matters worse, many of the proteins found in food are similar to the proteins in your own body. There is not much difference between animal collagen and human collagen, for example.
When your body goes on a seek-and-destroy mission for a “foreign invader” that looks just like your own collagen, your body begins to attack the collagen in your own body. This is the beginnings of an autoimmune condition known as rheumatoid arthritis, where your body begins attacking the collagen cushions in your joints.
Unfortunately, it’s not just collagen. It can happen to almost protein in your body.
And it all stems from an undigested protein getting through your gut’s security system. 
Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple. The problem of leaky gut comes almost entirely from the food you eat.
The answer, therefore, is a gut-healing diet and a few key supplements that help restore the tight junctions between gut cells.
The single most important thing you can do is to get rid of the causes.
If you believe you have symptoms of a leaky gut, please seek out a knowledgeable natural health practitioner with a focus in gut health. With the personalized guidance of a health professional and careful attention to your diet, you can heal leaky gut faster than you think.
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