The Leaky Gut Theory is False
© Copyright Bee Wilder, Revised [extensively] August 15, 2011
Table of Contents
What Is The Leaky Gut Theory?
The theory is that the leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of an altered or damaged intestinal lining, caused by toxins, poor diet, parasites, infection, or medications, making it less able to protect the internal environment [of the body] as well as to filter needed nutrients and other substances.
Some leaky gut theorists believe a leaky gut allows substances such as toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste, or larger than normal macromolecules to leak through an abnormally permeable gut wall. They propose that these out–of–place substances affect the body directly or initiate an immune reaction. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may "leak" out of the intestines into the blood stream.
They claim this triggers an autoimmune reaction, that can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity.
Holes in the Intestines?
Leaky gut theorists believe that incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may "leak" out of the intestines into the blood stream. However, this doesn't make sense because of how digestion happens in the body and how molecules get into the bloodstream from the intestines.
All foods are broken down into particles (molecules) during the digestive process, and they are almost totally digested by the time they leave the duodenum (the first part of the small intestines after the stomach). After that the job of the intestines is to mainly absorb the particles. Here's an excerpt from "The Long Hallow Tube – A Primer in Digestion" by Sally Fallon:
"Absorption [of food] takes place via the villi, small projections in the mucous membrane. Each villus has a network of capillaries through which the broken-down components of the food are absorbed. The nutrients then pass through the epithelial cells in the inner lining of the villi, at which point they enter the capillaries.
The small intestine is attached to the rear abdominal wall by a thin sheet of membrane called the mesentery, which carries blood vessels to nourish the small intestine and carries absorbed nutrient molecules and other substances to the liver.
Villi in the intestines are covered by an outer layer of epithelium, which food must pass through before it gains entry into the villi. Epithelium is tissue composed of a layer of cells [note the word 'cells']. Epithelium lines both the outside (skin) and the inside (e.g. intestine) of organisms.
The outermost layer of our skin is composed of epithelial cells, as are the mucous membranes lining the inside of the mouth and body cavities. Other epithelial cells line the insides of the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive organs, the kidneys and urinary tract, etc. Functions of epithelial cells include secretion, absorption, protection, sensation detection, and selective permeability," meaning some kinds of molecules are not allowed.
After food is broken down it consists of particles (molecules) that must pass through the outer layer of epithelium which is composed of several layers of cells. For example digestion of protein starts in the stomach by hydrochloric acid. When food empties out into the small intestine, first the pancreas pours on lots of baking soda to neutralize stomach acid and make the mixture alkaline. Then the pancreas produces digestive enzymes that break down proteins and well as fats and carbohydrates. The small intestine also produces digestive enzymes that further breakdown protein. The digestive process of dietary proteins denatures them, meaning it unwinds them since protein particles are wound up chains of molecules. Digestion also cleaves (splits) them into polypeptides, then oligo-, tri-, and dipeptides, and into single amino acid molecules.
The intestinal cell membranes (covering that encloses the cells) contain transporter proteins that transport amino acids into the absorptive cells (epithelium cells) of the small intestine, where they are passed through the cell, meaning through the cell membrane to the inside of the cell. Then they are released from the bottom of the cell and are transported by diffusion through the tiny capillary walls that are one-cell thick. The capillaries connect with larger blood vessels that link up with the portal vein that goes directly to the liver. The liver does further processing of all particles and molecules before they go into the hepatic arteries that deliver nutrients, oxygen, etc. to the cells. The liver also processes toxins from the intestines, changing oil soluble toxins into water soluble substances and it eliminates them through organs like the lungs, kidneys, skin, etc. Therefore particles must be of the kind and size of molecule that is able to pass through several layers of epithelium cells and only through their membranes, and pass by diffusion through the capillary walls.
Some theorists claim that tiny holes can be made in the villi by candida hyphae (threadlike filaments candida puts out like feet when it is overgrowing) so that spaces open up between the epithelium cells in order to allow large particles of undigested foods to pass through to the bloodsteam. However, even if it were possible to have spaces between epithelium cells the capillary beds line the entire intestines and they are the only way any particles or molecules can to be transported into the bloodstream, and they are only able to get into capillaries by a process called diffusion.
Damaged epithelial cells are incapable of absorbing food particles, large or small, through their membranes. This is in addition to the fact that there are several layers of epithelial cells lining the villi that are regenerated every 4-5 days. That is why feces are composed of a lot of dead cells.
The "selective permeability" of the intestines that Sally Fallon writes about, means foods that are not broken down into small enough particles cannot pass through the epithelium cells of the villi, even if the epithelium cells are damaged. Therefore large undigested food particles pass through the intestines and out of the body, just like all other indigested foods, such as fibers (cellulose), undigestible sugars, etc.
Selective Absorption of Large Food Particles?
Another argument against the leaky gut theory is even "if" large undigested food particles could possibly get into the blood steam, then how does the gut or the blood stream select which types of undigested food are allowed entry, and which are not?
Even though many people's food allergy tests indicate they are "allergic" to a wide variety of foods, they are not allergic to "all" foods that are tested.
So the question is: How does the [unthinking] gut or the bloodstream decide it will allow entry of large particles of eggs or dairy, and yet not allow large particles of carrots, broccoli, oranges, etc.? The truth is the gut and bloodstream not capable of making such decisions! The problem is the leaky gut theory itself, the fact that the antibody theory is false, and how food allergies are tested!
Food Allergy Tests Are Not Foolproof
Food allergy tests do not prove you are allergic to any foods. The medical community itself agrees that food allergy tests are inconclusive, and that clinical evidence must also be considered before making a final decision about whether a person has a "true" allergy or not. The Medical Encyclopedia on Allergy testing states:
The accuracy of allergy testing varies quite a bit. Even the same test performed at different times on a person may give different results. A person may react to a substance during testing, but never react during normal exposure. A person may also have a negative allergy test and yet still be allergic to the substance."
Healing Reactions Are Not Allergic Reactions
Did you know that allergic reactions are exactly the same list of symptoms as the list of healing reactions created by the body itself? Such reactions include, but are not limited to, upset stomach, diarrhea, rashes, hives, itching, increased heart rate, fever, etc. - see Healing Reactions Versus Allergic Reactions.
The fact is everyone is allergic to toxins and poisons. If a person is overloaded by toxins and they are not able to detoxify effectively they will also react to many substances like pollen, dander, dust, etc. However the false belief in food allergies has led many people to eliminate good unadulterated foods that the body needs in order to heal and detoxify itself.
When the body receives foods it needs to heal, detoxify and repair itself, it goes into high gear, producing healing reactions. After all the body only has one way of responding, whether it is handling or trying to minimize the effects of toxins or poisons, or it is trying to heal and detoxify itself—see Allergies, What They Are and How to Treat Them.
All disease processes are exactly the same as healing and detoxifying processes created by the body itself in an effort to maintain its health, in spite of poor nutrition, toxins, etc.
As Gary Taubes writes in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories, p. 142:
". . .the fundamental feature of all living organisms is the interdependence of the parts of the body to the whole . . ."
". . .all physiological systems [body processes] have to work together to assure survival."
". . all of the vital mechanisms [processes], however varied they may be, have only one object, that of preserving constant the conditions of life in the internal environment."
However, the medical industry labels each and every "sign" of poor health as separate dis-eases, illnesses, symptoms, syndromes, etc. which are actually normal body reactions and processes. In other words, they are simply "signs" the body is attempting to restore its own balance.
As Florence Nightengale, the famous nurse, says: "There are no specific diseases; there are [only] specific disease conditions."
People on Bee's Healthy Programs are giving their bodies what they need to become healthy, so they are now able to progress towards health rather than become more and more unhealthy, or dis-eased, thereby reversing the disease processes.
The Antibody Theory Is False
The antibody theory is the basis of food allergy testing but antibodies are tested only in a laboratory, and as Michael Nightingale states in his article "Jabs and Journeys":
". . . vaccinations [to build up antibodies] are artificial procedures which can be found to be protective in artificial situations. What we want to know is how effective are they in the natural situation of the real world? The laboratory can tell us little about this."
This, in addition to the fact that the medical community follows these antibody rules:
- High antibodies equal an allergy.
- High antibodies equal immunity.
- However, in the case of HIV high antibodies means you are infectious!
That does not make sense! The rules change when it comes to HIV, yet the opposite is true for all other diseases? However, the truth is:
- People who are the most immune have low antibodies levels.
- If HIV tests were not diluted to a ratio of 1:400 everyone would have infectious HIV.
- Antibody allergy tests are based on the theory that high circulating levels of IgG antibodies correlate with clinical allergy signs and symptoms, however high serum levels of IgG and other allergy tests have not been studied, nor verified, therefore it is quite a leap to conclude that IgG to food antigens correlates to signs and symptoms of food allergy.
- Laboratories do not use pure food antigens to test against blood samples from patients. The foods to make the antigens were obtained from a local market (they tried to buy organic foods whenever they could). The foods were then chopped finely and diluted to make the antigens.
Then the foods are rinsed several times with an organic solvent (acetone), with these solvents still adhering to them, and the food antigens are not purified. The problems that may be associated with this preparation are enormous. For one, all foods (organic and non-organic) are coated with micro-organisms. The most common of these include bacteria and fungi, but viruses and parasites may also be found on fruits, vegetables, grains, etc., and in milk, egg, and meat products.
Micro-organisms have many antigens that are highly immunogenic, and since solvents still adhere to the antigens, these two major factors totally negate any food allergy test results.
Here are many articles that explain why the antibody theory is false:
This is in addition to the fact that our bodies are not stupid enough to attack themselves as claimed by those who believe in autoimmune diseases. God did not make any stupid bodies, and Nature gets it right!
Not only is the entire antibody theory false, but the whole leaky gut theory is full of holes [pun intended]. In summary we conclude:
- It is impossible for large undigested food particles to pass through the many layers of cells into the bloodstream.
- The gut, nor the blood stream, is capable of selecting some large food particles which are allowed entry and not others.
- Food allergy tests cannot accurately detect allergenic foods.
- Healing reactions are not allergic reactions!
That blows the whole leaky gut theory out of the window, doesn't it?
- What Is Leaky Gut? (drweil.com)
The Long Hallow Tube – A Primer in Digestion by Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price Foundation.
- Medical Encyclopedia, Allergy Testing
- Everybody Reacts Positive on the ELISA Test for HIV
- IgG Food Allergy Testing by ELISA/EIA - What Do They Really Tell Us? by Sheryl B. Miller, MT (ASCP), PhD, Clinical Laboratory Director, Bastyr University Natural Health Clinic
- Antibody Theory