Crowdsourcing: the TOO MUCH MAG protocol for leaky gut
By Birgitte Rodh – It can be very difficult to get to the root cause of inflammatory bowel syndrome, gluten intolerance, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and food intolerances – but many people have experienced that leaky gut contributed to these conditions. However, actually treating leaky gut is where the real journey begins! Join our crowdsourcing initiative to support the TOO MUCH Mag protocol for curing leaky gut – learn and contribute.
Leaky gut syndrome is another name for ‘Hyperpermeable intestines‘ and this is said to happen when tight junctions in the gut, which control what passes through the lining of the small intestine, don’t work properly. Zonulin is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions. The two most powerful triggers to open the tight junctions are gluten and gut bacteria in the small intestine. Gliadin from gluten causes zonulin levels to increase both in those people who have celiac disease and those who do not. As the zonulin level rises, the seal between the intestinal cells diminishes, opening up spaces between the cells that allow all sorts of things to pass right through. The consequence is undigested food molecules and other bad particles (yeast, toxins, microbes, etc.) flow freely into the bloodstream.
Once there is a flow of toxic substances leaking out into the bloodstream, the body can experience increases in inflammation and adverse health consequences such as food intolerances, autism, autoimmune diseases and asthma. Never the less, the evidence – about what causes leaky gut and how to treat it – has yet to fully accumulate. As leaky gut symptoms are widespread and the most frequently used tests often fail to uncover the problem, people are often without a diagnosis and, therefore, left untreated.
Read more about the theory behind leaky gut syndrome and the skepticism toward the theory from the medical society. Also learn about new proof of the existence of the condition here.
In order to respond to the unattended needs of the many people who are suffering with the consequences of Leaky gut syndrome, TOO MUCH MAGazine has developed the TOO MUCH MAG protocol for leaky gut. This is the result of thorough research into diets, supplements and actions we believe offer the most well documented treatments for Leaky gut syndrome. In this way the protocol is a source of potential treatment options to discuss with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with any of the above conditions and believe you have Leaky gut syndrome.
The TOO MUCH MAG protocol for leaky gut
Before you start treating Leaky gut syndrome it is advisable to check if you actually suffer from this condition – so be wise and take a test! We recommend:
Intestinal Antegenic Permeability Screen test from Zyrex Laboratories
This test checks the permeability of the intestinal wall and looks for sufficient gut damage that molecules large enough to set off the immune system can cross the gut wall. Only your practitioner can order this test; it is available in Europe and US.
Zonulin test from Dunwoody Labs
Zonulin is a protein that upon binding to its receptor, causes the disassembly of tight gap junctions and increased permeability within the intestines. Patients with active celiac disease show higher levels of zonulin than nonceliac patients.
If you test positive proceed to the 4 R’s:
Avoid offending food components like gluten (with gliadin), as this can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, which can break apart the tight junctions holding your intestines together, leading to leaky gut. Other offending foods to avoid are processed foods and any foods you are intolerant or allergic to, as well as bad fats, alcohol, coffee, sugar, dried fruits, additives, and sometimes milk products. Also remember to rotate food, so you don’t develop food intolerances.
Test for fungus and parasites. Treat accordingly, but take care not to use the same antifungals over a long period of time. You can grow intolerant to these regardless of whether they come in the form of medicine or herbs.
Avoid stress, since chronic stress stimulates cortisone from the adrenals, which destroys the gut mucosal layer. Mindful eating can be helpful.
Eat a lot of organic vegetables. They contain antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamins A and C, minerals, and enzymes which bind to free radicals (unstable, reactive atoms) altering them to prevent cellular damage.
Quality fish oil and omega 3 helps reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and support the immune system.
Eat plantains (big bananas, to be fried). Research has proved it reduces inflammation in the gut.
Consume plenty of insoluble fiber from cellulose in cooked veggies along with some soluble fiber from whole foods like flaxseeds.
Eat resistant starch and other prebiotics, like in leeks, tapioca/manioc and apples, on a regular basis. They increase butyrate production (which reduces intestinal permeability) and support the growth and maintenance of healthy microbial populations.
Get adequate sunlight or take vitamin D3 supplements. Vitamin D helps protect against injuries to the intestinal lining, while a vitamin D deficiency promotes intestinal permeability and inflammation.
Glutamine can be beneficial. Cabbage, poultry and dark green leafy vegetables are high in glutamine, an amino acid that is known to help maintain intestinal metabolism and function. Glutamine can also be taken as a supplement, in the form of gelatin and whey powder protein or in the form of bone broth. Watch out for elevated ammonia if you take take glutamine in these forms or eat many foods that are high in glutamine.
Address nutritional deficiencies as they are a sign of poor vitamin and mineral absorption from the improper breakdown of food in the intestines. Important vitamins: C and E for the protection of the mucous lining (among others), D for leaky gut repair, and B complex may also be helpful.
Important minerals: Zinc is very important as it is utilized to form digestive enzymes, as well as in regulating hormones and assisting with the maintenance of intestinal barrier integrity. Also check for deficiency in manganese, magnesium and selenium levels.
Lowering the level of histamine. A damaged intestinal mucous layer leads to an increase in mast cell exposure (of histamine etc.), and this again leads to inflammation – that promotes a leaky gut! So lowering your histamine level may help your gut. How this is best done is up for discussion. Some suggestions are prescription drugs, like antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers, yet these can have unwanted side effects and antihistamines may raise histamine levels over the long run. Supplements like vitamin C, quercetin, curcumin, stinging nettle and certain probiotics (see probiotics below) have proved to have strong mast cell stabilizing effects and seem to be promising alternatives. Quercetin is found in dark red and purple fruits like red grapes, blueberries, red apples, red cherries and blackberries. There are several vegetable sources of quercetin as well: onions, broccoli and green leafy vegetables.
Colostrum is said to reduce leaky gut by about 80%.
Ghee or butter contains butyrate which enhances the intestinal barrier and modulates inflammation.
Lactoferrin – an iron-binding modulator of immune and inflammatory responses. For those reacting to dairy it is possible to find products without lactose or the most offending milk proteins.
Phosphatidyl Choline helps to rebuild the mucous membrane and is especially beneficial if the damage is caused by NSAIDs (painkillers like Ibuprofen, Ipren etc).
This involves the restoration of your gut’s optimal bacterial flora population. This can be done with the introduction of probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, L. Plantarum and Bifidobacterium (Longum, Lactis, etc.). Probiotics are good bacteria naturally found in the human gut and are ingested to help reinforce and maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and fight illness. In general a healthy lower intestinal tract should contain around 85% good bacteria. This helps to combat any overgrowth of bad bacteria and reduce intestinal permeability. A more radical action is Fecal microbiota transplantation, which has had a high success rate in addressing severe dysbiosis.
Digestive aids. Enzymes such as Creon, break down proteins so fewer molecules slip through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. Supporting your bile salts to attain optimal levels will maintain and promote healthy digestion. This can be done by supplementing with lecithin. Soups are recommended so the gut doesn’t have to work so hard to digest, and a short walk after eating aids digestion.
Do you wanna get to the root causes of what is going on in you gut you might need to take more tests, like the Organic Acid Test (OAT) from Great Plains Laboratory. The test provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. If you are in Europe the test can be ordered from Biolab
Many people have found that leaky gut can be difficult to treat. If you have suggestions to improve the TOO MUCH MAG Protocol please let us know so we can share. Be aware that we require solid documentation of cause and effect before including new treatment options. You can comment below.
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