Thursday, 20 November 2014

Intestinal permeability: an emerging scientific area (also with autism in mind)

What is the intestinal barrier? What is intestinal permeability? What factors affect the permeability of the intestinal barrier? How do you measure intestinal permeability? How might [altered] intestinal permeability link to health, well-being and various clinical diagnoses?
The new triad @ Bischoff SC et al. 2014

These are some of the questions tackled by the excellent open-access review by Stephan Bischoff and colleagues [1] which I would like to draw your attention to in today's ramblings.

Regular readers of this blog might already know about my borderline obsession with the inner workings of the barrier that separates the contents of our deepest, darkest recesses from the rest of the body. That and the potentially very important triad that is: gut barrier, gut bacteria and gut immune function.

I know the words 'leaky gut' still send shivers down the spines of quite a few people, particularly when mentioned in the context of autism or rather some of 'the autisms'. The NHS Choices website provides a very handy section called: "Why we should be sceptical about 'leaky gut syndrome'" further illustrating the contempt held against this area of science. But peer-reviewed science is peer-reviewed science and leaky gut is beginning to take a foothold in at least some autism research. Indeed, these past few weeks I've also seen quite a lot more positive discussion on the need for more research in this area with autism in mind (see here and see here and see here); real gut-brain science you might say.

There's little more for more to say on this issue outside of perhaps providing you with a few additional selected links to where gut permeability has been discussed on this blog, and perhaps a few areas where quite a bit more autism-related research might be indicated...

Oh, and if you want my peer-reviewed views on this whole gut permeability and autism matter with another, often contentious topic in mind, look no further [2]...

That'll do pig, that'll do. Aside that is, from another barrier [3] which might also require some further investigation with autism in mind...


[1] Bischoff SC. et al. Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:189

[2] Whiteley P. et al. Gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for autism spectrum conditions. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Jan 4;6:344.

[3] Braniste V. et al. The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice. Sci Transl Med. 2014; 6: 263ra158

---------- Bischoff, S., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J., Serino, M., Tilg, H., Watson, A., & Wells, J. (2014). Intestinal permeability - a new target for disease prevention and therapy BMC Gastroenterology, 14 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7