Recent comments from doctors in Arizona, specifically those at the Cardon Children’s Medical Center, have been clear – Leaky Gut doesn’t exist. Parents brought there two boys to the hospital, telling the doctors the boys had Leaky Gut, and they weren’t allowed to leave with their boys – instead they were taken away by DCS (Department of Children Services) with charges of neglect, specifically they didn’t feed them foods which gave them intolerances. However, the facts show differently. There are hundreds of studies (double blind randomized peer reviewed) and articles on the NIH (National Institute of Health) on Intestinal Permeability, AKA Leaky Gut, which describe this situation.

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  • Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology says, “Some studies support a model where cycles of increased intestinal permeability, intestinal immune activation, and subsequent immune-mediated barrier loss contribute to disease progression.” They go on to say, “Barrier defects have been reliably associated with a variety of human diseases, including those primarily affecting the gut, e.g. inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as systemic diseases or diseases involving other organ systems, e.g. type I diabetes, graft versus host disease (GVHD), HIV, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and autism.”


  • The Annals of New York Academy of Sciences says, “When the integrity of the gut barrier is compromised (TJ disassembly), as is seen during prematurity or exposure to radiation, chemotherapy and/or toxins, an immune response to environmental antigens that crossed the gut mucosa may develop, leading to autoimmune diseases or food allergies.” 


  • Gut says, “Remission induced by treatment with elemental diets coincides with a reduction in permeability.” 


  • PLOS One says, “Antibiotics are frequently administered orally to treat bacterial infections not necessarily related to the gastrointestinal system. This has adverse effects on the commensal gut microbial community, as it disrupts the intricate balance between specific bacterial groups within this ecosystem, potentially leading to dysbiosis.” 


  • When discussing Intestinal Permeability, another publication of the Annals of New York Academy of Sciences says, “Of particular interest is the regulation of antigen trafficking by the zonulin-dependent paracellular pathway and its activation by intestinal mucosa-microbiota/gluten interactions. These functions dictate the switch from tolerance to immunity, and are likely integral mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune processes.” 


  • Autoimmune Revolution says, “The incidence of autoimmune diseases is increasing along with the expansion of industrial food processing and food additive consumption. Tight junction leakage is enhanced by many luminal components, commonly used industrial food additives being some of them. Glucose, salt, emulsifiers, organic solvents, gluten, microbial transglutaminase, and nanoparticles are extensively and increasingly used by the food industry, claim the manufacturers, to improve the qualities of food. However, all of the aforementioned additives increase intestinal permeability by breaching the integrity of tight junction paracellular transfer. It is hypothesized that commonly used industrial food additives abrogate human epithelial barrier function, thus, increasing intestinal permeability through the opened tight junction, resulting in entry of foreign immunogenic antigens and activation of the autoimmune cascade. Future research on food additives exposure-intestinal permeability-autoimmunity interplay will enhance our knowledge of the common mechanisms associated with autoimmune progression.” 


  • Autoimmune Research says, “TJ barrier disruption and increased paracellular permeability, followed by permeation of luminal pro-inflammatory molecules, can induce activation of the mucosal immune system, resulting in sustained inflammation and tissue damage.” 


  • The Journal of Immunological Methods says, “Liver disease is often times associated with increased intestinal permeability. A disruption of the gut barrier allows microbial products and viable bacteria to translocate from the intestinal lumen to extraintestinal organs.” They go on to say, “Electron microscopy led to the discovery of tight junctions in epithelial barriers.” 


  • The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says, “Dysregulation of the intestinal barrier has been associated with chronic immune diseases including food allergy, IBD and celiac disease. Whether or not intestinal epithelial barrier function is a primary etiologic factor in the predisposition to disease development remains unclear.”


  • It is negligent, dangerous, and disease inducing to give these people gluten. Nutrients says, “Intestinal exposure to gliadin leads to zonulin upregulation and consequent disassembly of intercellular tight junctions and increased intestinal permeability.” They concluded, “This study demonstrates that gliadin exposure induces an increase in intestinal permeability in all individuals, regardless of whether or not they have celiac disease. The results of this study suggest that gluten exposure leads to altered barrier function in both ACD and GS, resulting in an exaggerated increase in intestinal permeability when compared to RCD.” 

It’s confusing to think that a doctor can say something doesn’t exist when there are so many studies on the topic. It’s even more confusing that they can turn children in for “neglect” charges on something they don’t know, or haven’t read. If we are all afraid for our children’s safety to take them to the hospital, where do we turn? Click here to read more about the boys and how you can take action. 

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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