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Leaky Gut Syndrome

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Founder of The Paleo Diet
April 24, 2013
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Dr. Cordain,

I have just finished watching your appearance on Dr. Oz yesterday, and am interested in following up on your comment regarding the need for study groups looking into "Leaky Gut Syndrome." I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's autoimmune disorder, after many years of undiagnosed symptoms, much testing, and many life style changing debilitating symptoms. I am currently under the care of a very knowledgeable, thorough nurse practitioner who specializes in functional and integrative medicine. Throughout all of the many doctors I have seen, she is the first to ever talk about "Leaky Gut" and the multitude of symptoms it can cause.

If you know anything about study groups being formed, or have any pieces of advice you would be willing to share with me, I would love to hear!

Thank you for your research and information!

-- Martha

Dr. Cordain's Response:

Hi Martha,

Many thanks for your kind words about my research. We have completed a large (~100) case survey of autoimmune patients including a substantial group with Hashimoto's and other thyroid. We examined medical records of the patients pre-post adoption of a Paleo Diet, and were encouraged by the results, particularly in autoimmune thyroid patients and those with Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis.

We believe that increased intestinal permeability ("a leaky gut") may represent an environmental trigger for many autoimmune diseases in genetically predisposed individuals. I have written about the mechanisms involved in the scientific literature (these papers are available as free PDF downloads at my website). In my latest book, The Paleo Answer, I have devoted a number of chapters explaining how various foods compromise intestinal function and promote a leaky gut. The Paleo Diet severely reduces or eliminates these foods (grains, dairy, legumes, potatoes) and describes how patients with autoimmune disease should proceed cautiously with other foods known to cause a leaky gut such as capsaicin (hot) chili peppers, some nightshades, alcohol, antacids, alfalfa sprouts and a few others I describe in my book.

I hope you achieve success with The Paleo Diet.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

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