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Definition of Leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome

Leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome is defined as a reduced barrier to the passage (leakage) of molecules from the intestine into the wall of the intestine and from there, possibly into the body. There is no question that in pathologic states molecules enter the wall of the intestine that normally are excluded. It is problematic to determine, however, whether leakage causes the disease or the disease causes the leakage. In most cases, the latter is believed to be the case. Leaky gut is not recognized as a specific disease; leakage may, however, complicate underlying disease. For example, inflammation of the intestine may allow bacterial toxins to enter the body where it can affect various organs.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=168238
Last Editorial Review: 3/1/2013 7:55:53 PM

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