Gut Detect Nutrients, Chop Them Up, and Absorb Them.
The lining of your gut is the largest surface in your body that faces the external environment. It reaches about 40 square meters, which is the size of a small one bedroom apartment (1). The intestinal mucosa can absorb nutrients efficiently because it comes in contact with intestinal contents (2). To help break down the food, gut mucosa produce hormones or peptides and release them into the bloodstream.
The Gut is the Most Important Defense Organ.
The gut also protects against the intrusion of harmful bacteria that enter the digestive system through food. The amazing thing is that the gut contains 70-80% of the body's immune cells (3).
The junctions between intestinal epithelial cells are normally tight. A disruption in these tight junctions leads to hyperpermeability, also called 'leaky gut'. This leaky gut status provokes several acute and chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes, allergies, asthma, and autism (4).
Probiotics can Heal Leaky Gut
A study suggested that the administration of probiotics could stabilize the intestinal barrier function and decrease gastrointestinal symptoms in children with atopic dermatitis (5).
- Helander, Herbert F., and Lars Fändriks. "Surface area of the digestive tract–revisited." Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 49.6 (2014): 681-689.
- Furness JB1, Kunze WA, Clerc N. Nutrient tasting and signaling mechanisms in the gut. II. The intestine as a sensory organ: neural, endocrine, and immune responses. Am J Physiol. 1999 Nov;277(5 Pt 1):G922-8.
- Castro G. A., Arntzen C. J. Immunophysiology of the gut: a research frontier for integrative studies of the common mucosal immune system. Am. J. Physiol. 265(Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 1993, 28):G599–G610.
- Liu, Z., Li, N. and Neu, J. (2005), Tight junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases. Acta Paediatrica, 94: 386–393.
- Rosenfeldt, Vibeke et al. Effect of probiotics on gastrointestinal symptoms and small intestinal permeability in children with atopic dermatitis. The Journal of Pediatrics , Volume 145 , Issue 5 , 612 - 616