Leaky gut syndrome is also known as intestinal permeability.
A normal healthy gut lining allows certain molecules to pass across into the bloodstream such as vitamins, minerals and digested foods. It also acts as a barrier to prevent entry of larger damaging molecules, foreign particles and bacteria.
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When there is damage to the intestinal lining it can open up slightly and this allows larger particles, such as undigested or partially digested foods and bacteria, to enter into the bloodstream. This leads to malabsorption of nutrients as they pass through into the blood stream in a form that the body cannot use and it can also lead to excessive absorption of bacteria and other molecules that the intestines usually prevent from entering the blood stream.
The immune system is not used to these particles and sees them as foreign and you can develop food sensitivities and candida infections as a result. This can lead to inflammation, irritation and allergic like reactions. Both malabsorption and increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) are associated with chronic gastrointestinal imbalances as well as many systemic disorders.
The Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen™, identifies an immune response indicating damage to the intestinal mucosal microstructures, including the epithelial cell network and the intercellular tight junctions. Measuring the continuity of the intestinal barrier is accomplished by identifying antibodies against the tight junction proteins (occludin and zonulin)4 and antibodies to the actomyosin network (a protein complex that regulates intestinal barrier function by maintaining the plasticity of tight junctions).
Increased gut permeability has been observed in a range of disorders such as
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Food allergy
- Inflammatory joint disease
- Chronic skin conditions such as psoriosis and eczema
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Anklosing spimdylitis
Decreased permeability, on the other hand, appears as a fundamental cause of malabsorption, subsequent malnutrition, and failure to thrive. In certain disease states of the small intestine, such as gluten-sensitive enteropathy , permeability to large molecules may increase while permeability to small molecules decreases, a result of damage to the microvilli – finger like projections that line the gut wall. As a result the correct nutrients levels become even less available to the body and it becomes less able to assist in the detoxification of antigens flooding the system.
Possible causes of intestinal permeability include
- Intestinal infection
- Ingestion of foods or toxic chemicals
- Deficient of secretory IgA
- Trauma and endotoxemia
What is being measured
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) IgG
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) IgA
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) IgM
Blood test that requires a blood sample. The blood sample will need to be centrifuged.
You can attend one of two laboratories in London to have the sample taken or you will need to arrange for a blood sample to be collected by a nurse at your G.P. service or at a private clinic or hospital. Any fee for this service is not included in with the test fee.
You will need to send your sample back to the lab via a next day postal service – If you are in the UK, Royal mail offer a suitable next day service. If you are outside of the UK then please check with your postal service for options. The cost of the test does not cover the return postage.
Please note that samples should only be posted on Monday – Thursday so that they do not arrive over the weekend when the lab is closed.
Before Taking this Test
See instructions inside test kit for more details
We offer a zonulin only test that can be added onto some stool tests but is less comprehensive and is called the Zonulin test
Test kits can be sent out to Europe however you will need to be responsible for returning the test kit and samples should arrive at the lab within 24 hours of taking the sample.