Diseases Associated With Leaky Gut
The claim that leaky gut is the root of modern health problems has yet to be proven by science. However, many studies have connected increased intestinal permeability with multiple chronic diseases (3).
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease characterized by a severe sensitivity to gluten.
In fact, one study found that ingesting gluten significantly increases intestinal permeability in celiac patients immediately after consumption (6).
There is some evidence that increased intestinal permeability plays a role in the development of type 1 diabetes (1).
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas (19).
One study found that 42 percent of individuals with type 1 diabetes had significantly elevated zonulin levels. Zonulin is a known moderator of intestinal permeability (22).
This suggests that increased permeability may be connected to the genetic component of Crohn's disease.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a digestive disorder characterized by both diarrhea and constipation. One study found that increased intestinal permeability is particularly prevalent in those with diarrhea-predominant IBS (31).
A leaky gut may allow food proteins to cross the intestinal barrier, stimulating an immune response. An immune response to a food protein, which is known as an antigen, is the definition of a food allergy (10).
Summary: Multiple studies have demonstrated that increased intestinal permeability is indeed present in people with certain chronic diseases.