Harmful Bacteria (SIBO) Cause Leaky Gut And A Host Of Health Issues

by Dr. David Minkoff October 20, 2022 5 min read

Athletic man resting after working out and taking PerfectAmino.

In the first article on SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) we covered what SIBO is, how it comes about, what feeds it, and how it creates cravings for sugar and other junk foods, preventing weight loss and causing low energy levels.

You can find that article here: SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) Causes Gas, Bloating, & Sugar Cravings And Prevents Weight Loss.

But there is another aspect to harmful bacteria in the small intestine which, overall, affects us much more.

There is something called “Leaky Gut”, and this is not just a funny name. It’s probably one of the most accurate labels there are, actually.

When food comes into your small intestine from your stomach it’s already mostly broken down. Here, more enzymes (bodily chemicals) are released to break it down further into truly microscopic pieces.

We also get any bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites that were not killed in your stomach if you don’t have enough stomach acid there.

Your small intestine has three walls: the inside wall is very thin, a thickness of one cell to be exact. This is the wall of cells that senses nutrients and opens tiny doors called “Tight Junctions” to let them through.

The next wall is lymph tissue (part of your immune system) that is there to spot and attack any harmful bacteria, viruses, etc.

And the last wall is made of blood vessels. These take the nutrients let through by the first wall on to your liver where they are released into your blood stream for use by your cells.

But here we’re interested in the first wall that is one cell thick. While there is much that happens here we’ll cover just the key points.

The cells in this wall form a kind of interlocking net with holes (tight junctions) in between them that can open or close.

And they have a mucous lining that both protects them, and which nutrients can rub across, allowing the cells to see what is there.

When they see nutrients such as vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, or amino acids a very specific protein is released called Zonulin. Zonulin stimulates the opening of these “tight junctions” to let the nutrients through so they can make their way to the liver, into the blood stream, and to the cells. 

But when toxins or harmful bacteria or parasites, etc., come across the mucous lining, the cells see this and know to keep the tight junctions closed to them, waiting for immune cells to come attack them from the second wall of lymph (immune) tissue.

But there’s something else they do as well, especially if there are too many…

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) Causes Leaky Gut

As covered above, when the cells see nutrients they release a protein called Zonulin that stimulates the tight junctions to open to let the nutrients through to the bloodstream — and don’t when there are harmful substances trying to get through.

But… many of these harmful bacteria themselves can also stimulate the release of zonulin, causing these doors to open and not only let the harmful bacteria through, but any number of other harmful substances, including viruses and toxins.

And with a serious bacterial overgrowth this can mean that many of these doors are kept open when they shouldn’t be, allowing bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream and to the cells that are not equipped to deal with them.

But now look at what happens. These bacteria and toxins reach cells, injuring or killing them, and create small infections in different parts of the body where they land, stimulating immune responses.

These immune responses raise inflammation in the affected areas, but also, as the body now needs to produce more immune cells than normal, it must take nutrients and amino acids from the supplies that would normally go to cells throughout the body.

This creates lowered energy, as the cells now don’t have enough fuel or supplies to function at peak levels or repair or replace themselves as it’s being diverted to create new immune cells.

But it also affects our hormones.

Due to raised inflammation the body releases more Cortisol, the stress hormone that again raises inflammation, converts testosterone and progesterone into estrogen (a fat-creation hormone when too high), lowers thyroid due to this (as well as energy levels), increases insulin for more fat creation and fat loss prevention,and… makes you feel stressed out.

The end result is toxins being allowed into the body that harm the cells, bacterial infections (minor or major), raised inflammation, lowered energy, out of balance hormones, and an overloaded immune system unprepared now for the next actual illness that comes along.

And all stemming from low amounts of stomach acid not killing off harmful bacteria in the stomach, before they can enter the small intestine, and a diet higher in sugary-type foods that then feed these bacteria, allowing them to thrive.

Amazing what something so simple can do.

And one last thing.

As you know, these bacteria produce gas in the small intestine, causing bloating. Well, some of what they release is also toxic and injures the cells in the first wall of the stomach. And, over time, it can outright kill some of these cells, creating even more chance of harmful bacteria and toxins getting through.

The digestive tract truly is one of the most important parts of our body to keep functioning at optimum levels. It affects more areas of our body than almost any other.

Now, if someone does have leaky gut — it can be fixed.

This is no cure here, but it will help support the body’s own repair & prevention functions.

These are cells after all, and new cells can be made and cellular repair can occur. But in this case it needs extra help.

First, if you have any gas, bloating, or acid reflux, you need to cut out any acid blockers or neutralizers which are creating this and allowing harmful bacteria through. Also cut out any sodas or soda water, both due to the sugar int it, but also because soda water neutralizes stomach acid, which we don’t want.

Next, take digestive enzymes with food until your stomach is able to produce these in quantity again on its own. This alone can make an immense difference.

And lastly, ensure you’re taking PerfectAmino to give your body the extra amino acids it needs to build and repair these cells so you once more have a functioning intestinal lining.

It’s truly amazing how one can feel, both physically and mentally, once the body is functioning as it’s supposed to.