Intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome is the capacity of medium size water soluble water molecules to cross the intestinal mucosa through the epithelial tight junctions into the blood stream (Ventura, Polimeo, Amoruso, Gatti, Annoscia, Marinaro, Leo, Matino, Buquicchio, Bonini, Tursi & Francavilla, 2006). In a recent study, researchers from the University of Bari Medical School, Italy, evaluated the intestinal permeability in subjects with adverse reactions to food on an allergen free diet (Ventura, Polimeo, Amoruso, Gatti, Annoscia, Marinaro, Leo, Matino, Buquicchio, Bonini, Tursi & Francavilla, 2006). In this study, 41 patients diagnosed with adverse food reactions, were divided into two groups, those presenting with a true food allergy (IgE mediated) and those presenting with a food hypersensitivity (non-IgE mediated). Intestinal permeability was determined by using a lactulose and mannitol urinary measure. Testing was carried out after each participant had been on an allergen free diet for six months. The data reported in this study showed that all patients presenting with either an IgE mediated/non-IgE mediated food reaction recorded an intestinal permeability score 5 times and 3 times higher, respectively, compared to normal healthy subjects. It is hypothesised that the intestinal permeability of the foregoing patients is indepedent of the ateiology of their condition, and may be a the consequence of previous alterations of the gastrintestinal barrier occurring in the first stages of development.
Ventura, M.T., Polimeo, L., Amoruso, A.C., Gatti, F., Annoscia, E., Marinaro, M., Leo, E.D., Matino, M.G., Buquicchio, R., Bonini, S., Tursi, A. & Francavilla, A. 2006. Intestinal permeability in patients with adverse reactions to food. Digestive and Liver Disease, 38, 732-736.