LibraryIn this 6-part series, I look into some recent science in the field of health and wellness. As a clinical naturopath I read so much research and want to share with you some highlights. Happy Reading!

Zonulin and Leaky Gut

The small intestine is protected by a protective barrier that keeps toxins and nasty bacteria/parasites out of the body. The permeability of this barrier is regulated by a protein called zonulin.

Researchers have found that a high concentration of zonulin leads to a “leaky gut”, something that I treat every day in clinic. The BIG news is that after they followed a gluten-free diet, antibody levels of patients went back to normal. This study reveals how restoring the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function can heal and protect against immune, inflammatory and neoplastic disorders. Read more

Zonulin is Related to Insulin Resistance

Speaking of zonulin, this study found that people with higher zonulin levels had higher inflammation levels, a higher BMI, higher fasting insulin and higher cholesterol! This suggests that there is a close relationship between intestinal permeability and obesity-associated metabolic disturbances in humans. In other words, insulin resistance caused by obesity may lead to a leaky gut! Read more

Probiotics and Prebiotics May Reduce Inflammatory Symptoms

This study provides a thorough investigation into intestinal microbiota, immunity, gut dysbiosis and inflammation. It concluded that using probiotics and prebiotics can alleviate the symptoms of inflammatory diseases. Specifically, encouraging the population of good bacteria in the gut can help push out the bad guys. This is why I recommend drinking kombucha and eating fermented foods on a daily basis, especially if you have food intolerances.

Fermented Foods are Beneficial for Human Health

If you need more convincing, here’s a study that found that the probiotic qualities of fermented foods play an important role in the human diet. They provide us with a natural barrier against microbial infection. If you find it difficult to incorporate fermented foods like kombucha, kefir and kimchi into your daily eating regime, I recommend taking a good-quality probiotic supplement.

Body Clocks, Bacteria and Glucose Intolerance

New research shows that disruptions to your body clock, such as when you travel across time zones or do shift work, can negatively affect the levels of good bacteria in your gut. And this may increase your risk of insulin resistance! Working the night shift just took on a whole new level of significance. The importance of sleep can’t be understated.

Composition of Gut Microbiota Corresponds with Health in the Elderly

Research published in the Nature Journal shows that old people living in care were more frail AND had a less diverse range of bacteria in their gut than old people living in the community. Does this mean that as we age, our gut bacteria dwindles and this is what makes us more frail?

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