If you are dedicated and serious about healing leaky gut and autoimmune disease you need to take a look at food additives that trigger or contribute to leaky gut. So, what, exactly, is leaky gut? Known in the medical literature for more than 100 years as “intestinal permeability,” and in my opinion, many modern doctors don’t know how to ID and treat it. It is increasingly prevalent and complicated especially given the array of “food” choices we have today. It is however, believed to be at the root of many diseases.
Signs and symptoms, you have leaky gut include inflammation, joint pain, inflammatory skin disorders and rashes, food allergies and sensitivities and all sorts of other health problems.
Processed foods are easily accessible, but mounting research shows some of the most common additives on ingredients lists could be unleashing digestive destruction. Here are a couple we should talk about:
1. “Meat Glue” - Otherwise known as microbial transglutaminase, this special enzyme serves to hold proteins together. (Hence the name meat glue.) It’s often used in imitation crab meat, for example, California sushi rolls, to improve the texture in meats like ham (processed meats) and surimi.
Thankfully, this food additive that triggers leaky gut is required to be on the label, although it is sometimes called TG enzyme. Another label warning sign? Products formed from pieces of whole muscle meat, or that have been reformed from a single cut, must disclose this fact on their label, as part of the product name, for example, “Formed Beef Tenderloin” or “Formed Turkey Thigh Roast.”
2. Sugars - Glucose was found to increase gut permeability and produce changes in distribution of the main protein of the tight junction in the lining of the intestine, causing leaks. Americans, especially since the “low-fat” craze have eaten an increasingly high amount of sugar. This has increased the amount of inflammation in the body and the digestive track, further exacerbating leaky gut. Unfortunately, the “low-fat” craze tricked people into thinking sugar was healthier than fat leading people to eliminate healthy fats and increase sugar in processed foods.
3. Sodium -A high-salt diet does more than affect your heart. Turns out, it’s also blamed for loosening up those tight junctions that keep your gut function strong and healthy. Interestingly, a high-salt diet could be behind a spike in autoimmune diseases. Excess salt can impact your innate immune system. We need some salt to live, but in general, Americans are getting way too much. I know for me…. I can immediately feel the effects of sodium.
4. Emulsifiers - You may have heard that a common food additive is tied to colon cancer. Emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (often known as cellulose gum) are used in things like nonorganic dill pickles, frozen baked goods, non-dairy creamer and more. They’ve also been linked to metabolic dysfunction, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer and leaky gut. It seems emulsifiers act like detergents to disrupt the mucous layer that lines the gut
5. Gluten - When I work with clients, I tell that it’s imperative that they remove gluten and grains from the diet. (Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in some grains occasionally.) (Glutagenics can help wth this)
Researchers of the food additives that trigger leaky gut study also say gluten is a no-no. They noticed increased gut permeability when immune cells are exposed to gliadin. (Gliadin is a class of proteins in wheat and are a component of gluten. It helps give bread the ability to rise during baking.) Gluten often hides out in unexpected places, including sauces and gravies, where wheat flour is used as a thickening agent.
Foods & Supplements that Counteract Intestinal Permeability Luckily, there are food ingredients and supplements that can help soothe and heal a gut that’s fallen victim to intestinal permeability, AKA leaky gut. Here are a few:
Has had Hashimoto's for 13 years. I am passionate, I live and breathe, helping you to overcome your struggles with weight, stress, and chronic health issues.