28 Jul Leaky Gut maybe the cause of gluten-sensitivity in non-celiac individuals
A new study may explain why people who do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy nevertheless experience a variety of gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms after ingesting wheat and related cereals. The findings suggest that these individuals have a weakened intestinal barrier (leaky gut), which leads to a body-wide inflammatory immune response.
The study, which was led by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center were reported in the journal Gut. In the study, the researchers examined 80 individuals – 40 individuals with celiac disease, and 40 with gluten-sensitivity. Despite the extensive intestinal damage associated with celiac disease, blood markers of innate systemic immune activation were not elevated in the celiac disease group. This suggests that the intestinal immune response in celiac patients is able to neutralize microbes or microbial components that may pass through the damaged intestinal barrier, thereby preventing a systemic inflammatory response against highly immunostimulatory molecules.
The gluten-sensitivity group was markedly different. They did not have the intestinal cytotoxic T cells seen in celiac patients, but they did have a marker of intestinal cellular damage that correlated with serologic markers of acute systemic immune activation. The results suggest that the identified systemic immune activation in NCWS is linked to increased translocation of microbial and dietary components from the gut into circulation, in part due to intestinal cell damage and weakening of the intestinal barrier.
Importantly, the researchers found that the gluten sensitive subjects who followed a diet that excluded wheat and related cereals for six months were able to normalize their levels of immune activation and intestinal cell damage markers. This suggests that by testing for leaky gut syndrome it may be possible to identify individuals who would benefit from the dietary changes. If you are interested in a test for leaky gut syndrome wee our website: /hydrogen-breath-test/leaky-gut-syndrome/