Gut-Chek Blog

Leaky Gut Syndrome in Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have been studying whether leaky gut syndrome is a factor in multiple sclerosis (MS).  What is known about MS is that inflammation develops that effects the central nervous system.  The question is whether the function of the intestines is also compromised by this inflammation.  This effect wouldn’t be unusual because other inflammatory diseases such as Crohns Disease, ulcerous colitis and type 1 diabetes are associated with intestinal permeability problems.  What these researchers found was that MS patients had structural changes in the mucous membranes including an increase in inflammatory T-cells and a reduction in immunosuppressive cells (regulatory T- cells).  Thus the researchers hypothesized that “a damaged intestinal barrier can prevent the body ending an autoimmune reaction in the normal manner, leading to a chronic disease such as MS”.  More work needs to be done on this hypothesis, but there seems to be little downside to testing MS patient for leaking gut syndrome.  Perhaps those MS patients who test positive would benefit from therapy to heal the gut.

Ref: Dr. Shahram Lavasani, Lund University, September 2014

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