Leaky gut syndrome refers to a set of symptoms that are associated with a “leaky gut.” What we often call “leaky gut” is more scientifically labelled as “intestinal epithelial hyperpermeability,” “intestinal tight junction malfunction” or even “compromised intestinal barrier function” by the medical community.
The gut is supposed to allow absorption of water, small ions and nutrients into our blood system (the gate function). It is also supposed to prevent other material in your gut from entering the blood stream (the fence function).
The barrier consists of a single layer of cells (intestinal epithelial lining) and the secretions of those cells. The cells are bound together by “tight junction” proteins. But, when this barrier become damaged, the undigested food as well as potentially toxic microbes and microbial products can enter the blood stream.