“Leaky Gut” occurs when the gut lining becomes abnormally permeable, allowing bacteria, food and other large molecules to pass through. A major controller of this gateway is Zonulin FP.
What is Zonulin?
Zonulin (pre-Haptoglobin 2) is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the digestive tract wall. Zonulin and its related family of peptides, are found within intestinal cells, with production and release, mimicking the effect of certain bacterial toxins. Once triggered, Zonulin plays an important role in the creation of bowel “leakiness.” By a quirk of nature, the wheat glycoprotein, gliadin, mimics the effects of foreign bacteria and also activates Zonulin signaling, irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity, leading to increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules. But unlike the effect caused by bacteria, the Zonulin effect from gliadin generates a two-way response. Not only can water exit, but intestinal contents are able to gain entry in the opposite direction, ie: into the bloodstream.
The gliadin-Zonulin leak effect occurs not just in people with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity; it occurs in everyone. However, the effect is longer and more pronounced (5-fold greater) in the intestinal cells of people with celiac disease.