This week, Columbia University announced a “breakthrough” in our understanding of how gluten relates to health issues. Their findings, published in the journal Gut, revealed that the complaints gluten-sensitive people (those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity) experience are a consequence of a disruption of the gut lining – what has come to be called “leaky gut.”
We hear more and more concern about the impact glyphosate, the lead ingredient in RoundUp, is having on the microbiome. While correlation does not mean causation, and while some of the science on this issue is still evolving, what we can say is that it does change the balance of the bacteria in the microbiome, setting the stage for leaky gut and autoimmune disease.
We talk a lot about leaky gut and the complications that result from this condition. However, a similar problem can happen in the brain. The blood brain barrier that keeps the brain as a sanctuary away from things like bacterial components and damaging chemicals can also be breached – and some of the same mechanisms that give rise to a leaky gut can create a leaky brain.
Learn more in my most recent video, as well as in my new book, Brain Maker.
While I don’t have the exact statistic, it probably isn’t far off-base to state that many, if not most, Americans start their day with a cup of coffee in their hand. For many years, the science on coffee has moved in competing directions, from studies that call it dangerous for long-term health, to those that endorse daily mass consumption.
In Grain Brain, I briefly explored the health benefits of coffee, notably as an activator of our Nrf2 pathway, and it’s a topic I return to in Brain Maker. Now, learn how coffee plays a roll in influencing the composition of our gut bacteria, and how that daily cup of joe might be fighting a leaky gut. Drink up!
One of the things I explore in depth in Brain Maker is the notion that even depression is now considered an inflammatory disorder. We now understand that inflammatory markers, the same that we see elevated in heart disease are also elevated in the depressed patient. So the question is: If depression is an inflammatory disorder then where does the inflammation come from? Interestingly that is more or less the title of a study that was recently published in a British medical journal in 2013. In this video we take a closer look at the gut microbiome, leaky gut and how it relates to disorders such as depression.
A variety of factors conspire to lead to leakiness of the gut and this plays a fundamental role in inflammation. We know that, for example, things like stress and environmental toxins can lead to leakiness of the gut. However, we now understand that AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products), which are proteins bound to sugar when blood sugar is chronically elevated, also play a role in increasing gut permeability. In this video we explore this further.