Leaky Gut Syndrome: Quack or Fact?

Gut Health

The arguments for and against “Leaky Gut Syndrome” and why it matters (or doesn’t)

There’s a controversial and poorly studied condition that is blamed for everything from arthritis to autoimmune disease….Leaky Gut Syndrome. 

The basic explanation is this: 

  1. Inflammation, both inside and outside of the gut, causes microscopic openings between the many layers of cells that line your gastrointestinal tract (your gut). 
  1. These openings allow substances to travel between the gut and the rest of the body (and vice versa) that should not be traveling. 
  1. When these substances end up where they shouldn’t, they disrupt your gut microbiome and cause inflammation, which leads to disease

Proponents of Leaky Gut Syndrome believe that these substances may be responsible for issues like:

  • Food sensitivity and intolerance 
  • Chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease
  • Autoimmune diseases, where the body’s immune system works against healthy functioning

To make matters more confusing, your gut is always “leaky.” Intestinal permeability is the scientific term for your gut’s ability to let some substances into the gut and others out. Intestinal permeability is real, and it changes with disease and for other, less understood reasons. 

But does it matter?

It’s a chicken or the egg question: Does increased intestinal permeability cause disease, or does disease cause increased intestinal permeability? 

We’ll look at the arguments and try to decide if (or why) it matters for your health.

The “Quack” Argument

Those who argue against Leaky Gut Syndrome as a cause for disease say that the evidence simply isn’t there. While altered intestinal permeability is a fact of certain diseases, there isn’t consistent evidence that shows whether it’s a cause or symptom of those diseases. 

They also argue that there isn’t a direct connection between Leaky Gut Syndrome, an altered microbiome, and increased intestinal permeability. Finally, some animal studies show that increased intestinal permeability, by itself, doesn’t result in symptoms or disease. 


There isn’t evidence of a direct relationship between increased intenstinal permeability and specific diseases or disorders.

The “Fact” Argument

Did you know where we got the word “hypochondriac?” It comes from an ancient Greek word “hypochondriasis,” which refers to an imbalance of the gut that causes disease. When this theory of disease fell out of favor, physicians began to refer to people with an “unreasonable” fear that they were sick hypochondriacs.

This story illustrates the challenges that Leaky Gut Syndrome proponents face. The “Quack” arguers are quick to dismiss the idea of Leaky Gut Syndrome. It doesn’t help that numerous “Fad Diets” offer extreme dietary changes or supplementation that they claim will miraculously heal the gut and cure disease. 

But, alternative and traditional medicine practitioners have been successfully targeting the gut to treat disease for centuries.

The problem right now is that those arguing against Leaky Gut Syndrome are right.The exact biological mechanism that links an altered microbiome to increased intestinal permeability and disease hasn’t been discovered…yet.

However, supporters of the Leaky Gut Syndrome theory point to numerous studies that indicate a gut-healing diet has a positive effect on individuals’ symptoms, inflammatory markers,  and quality of life.


There’s alot of evidence that points to the fact that inflammation can contribute to increased intestinal permeability, and vice versa. 

The Betr Approach

Remember the classic line from the film Gone with the Wind

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a d*mn!”

This best sums up the Betr perspective on Leaky Gut Syndrome.   While our method is backed by research and based on a careful and ongoing analysis of the current science, what we care about most are RESULTS!

By adopting our protocol, we’ve seen thousands of Betr members find relief from chronic inflammation and disease.

And Betr doesn’t use fad ingredients or “magic bullet” supplements. We base our plan on eating whole, healthy foods, avoiding potentially inflammatory ingredients and food additives, and providing your body with the fuel to heal itself. 

We’re a healing response to a toxic world. 

The Verdict

We agree. The jury on Leaky Gut Syndrome as a primary cause of disease is still out. 

In the meantime, we’ll continue to follow the research and watch people heal…

The Betr way.

After reading this article, you may be asking yourself if your own health hurdles could be related to an unhealthy gut.

Explore Betr's risk-free trial to see if you could benefit from using food as medicine to rebuild your microbiome and realize the healthy potential you never knew you were missing!