If you are dedicated and serious about healing leaky gut and autoimmune disease, I need you to know about a recent study that IDs seven food additives that trigger leaky gut, or at the very least contribute to the condition.
So what, exactly, is leaky gut? Known in the medical literature for more than a 100 years as “intestinal permeability,” in my opinion, many modern doctors don’t know how to ID and treat leaky gut. That’s a shame because it’s believed to be at the root of which is at the root of many diseases.
Signs and symptoms you have leaky gut include inflammation, joint pain, inflammatory skin disorders and rashes, food allergies and sensitivities and all sorts of other health problems.
According to a study published in a Norwegian medical journal this process “is implicated in the onset of disease include several acute and chronic pediatric conditions that are likely to have their origin during infancy” and has been linked to: (1)
- Autoimmune disease
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
- Type 1 diabetes
Basically, leaky gut results and autoimmune diseases arise when the tight junctions that protect the intestinal mucosa are damaged. This allows bacteria, toxins, allergens and carcinogens that normally protect the gut and immune system to leaky through and set off autoimmune diseases.
Processed foods may seem like a cheap and easy fix, especially when you’re pressed for time. But mounting research shows some of the most common additives we often overlook on ingredients lists could be unleashing digestive distress and beyond. As it turns out, these food additives impact the intestines in a way that promotes the development of autoimmune disease symptoms. So if you’re dealing with inflammatory disease, skin issues, brain fog or many other autoimmune disease issues, it’s time to make focusing on processed food ingredients part of your action plan.
7 Food Additives that Trigger Leaky Gut
In the study, the research team examined the effects of industrial food additives used in processed food. Specifically, they wanted to see how these ingredients impacted the intestines and on the development of autoimmune diseases — conditions in which the body attacks and damages its own tissues. These food additives are added to processed foods and drinks to improve taste, smell, texture and shelf life.
And what did scientists find? “…a significant circumstantial connection between the increased use of processed foods and the increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases.”
Published in Autoimmunity Reviews, researchers uncovered evidence that processed foods weaken the intestine’s resistance to bacteria, toxins and other hostile nutritional and not nutritional elements. This increases the risk of autoimmune diseases. (2)
“In recent decades there has been a decrease in incidence of infectious diseases, but at the same time there has been an increase in the incidence of allergic diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Since the weight of genetic changes is insignificant in such a short period, the scientific community is searching for the causes at the environmental level.” — study co-author Aaron Lerner, MD
Here are the 7 food additives that trigger damage in the tight junctions of the gut, according to the study: (3)
1. “Meat Glue”
Otherwise known as microbial transglutaminase, this special enzyme serves to hold proteins together. (Hence the name meat glue.) It’s often used in imitation crab meat (it could be landing in your beloved California sushi rolls!), fish balls and to improve the texture in meats like ham and surimi. (4)
It’s also approved for use as an enzymatic binder to form smaller cuts of meat and poultry into a larger serving of meat. (This even includes some steaks.) Derived from fermented bacteria, a non-pathogenic strain of the organism Streptoverticillium mobaraense, it’s considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration, although other studies would suggest otherwise. It was only approved for use in 1998, so it’s a relatively young food additive.
Thankfully, this food additive that triggers leaky gut is not exempt from labeling, although it is sometimes called TG enzyme.
Another label warning sign? Products formed from pieces of whole muscle meat, or that have been reformed from a single cut, must disclose this fact on their label, as part of the product name, for example, “Formed Beef Tenderloin” or “Formed Turkey Thigh Roast.” (5)
If you eat meat, I always suggests finding a local organic, pasture-raised operation to support. Form a relationship and ask if any food additives are added to the meat.
Glucose was found to increase gut permeability and produce changes in distribution of the main protein of the tight junction in the human cell line Caco-2, indicating intercellular leakage.
Americans increased use of sugars results in higher levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Once formed, AGEs increase inflammation, which can further exacerbate leaky gut. (6) We now know the sugar industry scandal that involved tricking people into thinking sugar was healthier than fat. This demonized natural, healthy fats and increased sugar in processed foods. As always, use my tricks to kick sugar addiction and drastically cut back on sugar and you’ll be much healthier in the end.
A high-salt diet does more than affect your heart. Turns out, it’s also blamed for loosening up those tight junctions that keep your gut function strong and health. Interestingly, a high-salt diet could be behind a spike in autoimmune diseases. Excess salt can actually impact your innate immune system, causing macrophage dysfunction. We need some salt to live, but in general, Americans are getting way too much.
In a recent mouse study, increased salt concentrations actually seemed to trigger neuropathy in those with multiple sclerosis. So to hack your immune system, make sure you’re not eating too much salt. Cutting out processed foods will definitely help. More than 75 percent of Americans’ salt intake comes from processed foods. (7)
You may have heard that a common food additive is tied to colon cancer. (8) Emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (often known as cellulose gum) are used in things like nonorganic dill pickles, frozen baked goods, non-dairy creamer and more. They’ve also been linked to metabolic dysfunction, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. (9)
Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer and leaky gut. It seems emulsifiers act like detergents to disrupt the mucous layer that lines the gut. (10)
5. Organic Acids
Researchers investigated the potential risks of using these solvents in food and beverages. Specifically, alcohol and its metabolites impair the junction barriers need to prevent leaky gut. Researchers say acetaldehyde, which is produced as the liver processed alcohol and is a contributing factor to hangovers, may be to blame. (11)
Acetaldehyde is also found in fermented foods, but in my opinion, I’ve seen great gut improvements when patients work fermented foods into the diet. (Of course, you can experiment to see how your body feels with or without fermented foods.)
When I work with patients, I tell that it’s imperative that they remove gluten and grains from the diet. (Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally.)
Researchers of the food additives that trigger leaky gut study also say gluten is a no-no. They noticed increased gut permeability when immune cells are exposed to gliadin. (Gliadin is a class of proteins in wheat and are a component of gluten. It helps give bread the ability to rise during baking.) (12) Gluten often hides out in unexpected places, including sauces and gravies, where wheat flour is used as a thickening agent. And please note that even organic wheat contains gluten.
7. Nanometric particles
Nanotechnology is a booming business in the food world. A more than $7 billion business, to be exact. And estimates suggests 40 percent of food industries are using it. (13)
Use of nanoparticles in food and food packaging is skyrocketing in America. Nanotechnology encompasses taking a material and unnaturally making it tiny, with dimensions between 1 and 100 nm. But at these dimensions, the materials may take on unusual physical, chemical and biological properties and functions that are remarkably different from those the original size of the compound, the study authors explain. They can behave in unexpected ways once inside human cells.
So why are we using them in food? Nanomaterials improve the taste, color, look, uniformity and texture of foods. Nanomaterials are also used in food packaging to help bottled beverages prevent CO2 loss. Silver nanoparticles are also embedded in plastic to kill bacteria. (14)
But these nanoparticles are also linked to DNA and cell damage. Titanium dioxide is the most common nanoparticle in food. Manufacturers use it most often to make things like powdered donuts and salad dressings bright white. It also makes gummy bears opaque and enhances colors. (15) We don’t really know what the long-term impacts of eating nanoparticles are, so I avoid them at all costs.
Foods & Supplements that Counteract Intestinal Permeability
Luckily, there are food ingredients and supplements that can help soothe and heal a gut that’s fallen victim to intestinal permeability, AKA leaky gut. Here are a few:
- Glutamine — This is a natural leaky gut inhibitor. I specifically use tap into L-glutamine benefits and use it as a cornerstone supplement to help support better digestive health. Why? Science shows us it improves gastrointestinal health because it serves as a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair. (16) In essence, it helps heal leaky gut by acting as a Band-Aid for protection from further damage and improves IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements (17, 18)
- Curcumin — A potent anti-inflammatory agent found in turmeric (it’s one of the many documented turmeric benefits), curcumin features a mechanistic potential to inhibit the inflammation and oxidative stress leaky gut. (Just don’t use at too high doses or it could actually enhance oxidated stress.) (19)
- Prebiotics and Probiotics — While the benefits of probiotics are well-noted, prebiotics, non-digestible fiber compounds, are still largely underappreciated and underconsumed in America. Studies show they help promote a healthy gut and actually help heal leaky gut in those suffering from atopic dermatitis. (20) Raw dandelion greens, garlic, onions and leeks are great prebiotic sources.
- Bone Broth — I have found that bone broth is the No. 1 thing to consume to combat leaky gut syndrome, overcome food intolerances and allergies and improve joint health. Consuming homemade bone broth or a high-quality bone broth supplement provides a dose of healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. They contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain. (21)
Final Thoughts on Food Additives that Trigger Leaky Gut
- This study serves as another reminder that we can greatly improve our health if we focus on cooking from scratch more and relying less on processed foods.
- Many food additives have never been tested for long-term impact on human health. Who wants to be part of that experiment? Not me. And I hope not you, either.
- While we can all read labels and avoid these food additives that trigger leaky gut, it’s very clear we need stronger leadership in Congress and in federal agencies who will actually mandate food safety laws that actually protect Americans.
- Part of a healing leaky gut program must include a plan to avoid processed foods and food additives that trigger leaky gut.
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.