Leaky gut syndrome is a hypothetical, medically unrecognized condition.[1][2]

Unlike the scientific phenomenon of increased intestinal permeability ("leaky gut"),[1][3] claims for the existence of "leaky gut syndrome" as a distinct medical condition come mostly from nutritionists and practitioners of alternative medicine.[1][4][5] Proponents claim that a "leaky gut" causes chronic inflammation throughout the body that results in a wide range of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and autism.[1][4] There is little evidence to support this hypothesis.[1][6]

Stephen Barrett has described "leaky gut syndrome" as a fad diagnosis and says that its proponents use the alleged condition as an opportunity to sell a number of alternative-health remedies – including diets, herbal preparations, and dietary supplements.[5] In 2009, Seth Kalichman wrote that some pseudoscientists claim that the passage of proteins through a "leaky" gut is the cause of autism.[7] Evidence for claims that a leaky gut causes autism is weak and conflicting.[8]

Advocates tout various treatments for "leaky gut syndrome", such as dietary supplements, probiotics, herbal remedies, gluten-free foods, and low-FODMAP, low-sugar, or antifungal diets, but there is little evidence that the treatments offered are of benefit.[1] None have been adequately tested to determine whether they are safe and effective for this purpose.[4] The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend the use of any special diets to manage the main symptoms of autism or leaky gut syndrome.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Leaky gut syndrome". NHS Choices. 26 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2018-02-11. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Debunking the Myth of 'Leaky Gut Syndrome'". Inside Tract. Canadian Society of Intestinal Research (187). 2013.
  3. ^ Bischoff SC, Barbara G, Buurman W, Ockhuizen T, Schulzke JD, Serino M, et al. (2014). "Intestinal permeability--a new target for disease prevention and therapy". BMC Gastroenterol (Review). 14: 189. doi:10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7. PMC 4253991. PMID 25407511.
  4. ^ a b c Odenwald, Matthew A.; Turner, Jerrold R. (2013). "Intestinal Permeability Defects: Is It Time to Treat?". Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 11 (9): 1075–83. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.07.001. PMC 3758766. PMID 23851019.
  5. ^ a b Barrett, Stephen (14 March 2009). "Be Wary of "Fad" Diagnoses". Quackwatch. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  6. ^ Quigley EM (2016). "Leaky gut - concept or clinical entity?". Curr Opin Gastroenterol (Review). 32 (2): 74–9. doi:10.1097/MOG.0000000000000243. PMID 26760399. S2CID 40590775.
  7. ^ Kalichman, Seth C. (2009). Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy. Springer. p. 167. ISBN 9780387794761.
  8. ^ Rao M, Gershon MD (2016). "The bowel and beyond: the enteric nervous system in neurological disorders". Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (Review). 13 (9): 517–28. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2016.107. PMC 5005185. PMID 27435372.