What’s “Leaky Gut”? A term someone just made up? When a gut leaks, which way does it leak? Does it let things in? Or let things out? Or both?
Patients suffer from leaky gut or intestinal permeability disease because of long-standing inflammation. A very dangerous phenomenon! Decades of effort to try to reverse leaking and ulcer formation in ulcerative colitis and other diseases have failed. The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet (PKD) reverses the damage and actually heals the leaking intestinal lining.
Breaking down Leaky Gut
So how does all this work? Your digestion, highly choreographed and synchronized performs on a miraculous level. Your food first enters into your stomach where strong acid and the natural movements churn and break down your food. The intestines digests and selectively absorbs the food. Stuff not absorbed ends up in the toilet.
Leaky Gut Phase 1
Problems occur when inflammation enters the scene. Blame the kind of carb-focused diet we eat or the intensely stressful lives we seem to live today. No matter where you place the blame, cells suffer damage and the seal lining our guts begins to leak. It allows stuff that shouldn’t be absorbed to infiltrate. Stuff goes out the other direction as well. Stuff we should be retaining! Malnutrition sneaks in and the body starves for necessary minerals and vitamins.
Leaky Gut Phase 2
Tiny little doorways or connections play an important part in this intestinal drama. These connections, called tight junctions, seal adjacent cells to one another much like staples. When the staples loosen, they get leaky. The wider these openings spread, the larger the particles coming in and out of our body.
Leaky Gut Phase 3
Our immune system in response freaks out. An emergency switch flips. In the natural state, chemicals called cytokines work like quarterbacks. This leader of the situation directs other defender cells to protect us from invasion. However, when this goes on for too long too much-unwanted material enters and the battle rages on. Collateral damage occurs. Soon healthy cells lining the intestine die off. Tiny openings give way to large ones and you end up with an ulcer. Too many ulcers and you have a severe and fatal disease like Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
Treating Leaky Gut
“So Doc, why can’t you just prescribe me a pill for this problem?“ Unfortunately, current medications have proven to be essentially useless. In twenty years of seeing patients, stories of a constantly leaking gut leave me sleepless. With the enormous suffering that ensues, their souls start to leak. Their spirits wilt.
Other attempts to seal the gaps have included probiotics, prebiotics, colostrum, fecal transplantation, the FODMAP diet, and the conventional Paleo Diet. Add in expensive medications that target an overactive immune system. All have failed to reverse the damage.
You can imagine my utter fascination when I read that a mere “diet” could reverse the leaking: that it could repair the damaged cells and seal these leaky gaps. What? A diet that can reverse and heal?
The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet (PKD) diet has “restored” my hope! It can reverse the irreversible!
The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet, PKD
Differing from the standard ketogenic diet, this version serves no dairy, no fruit, no vegetable or seed oils, and no supplements. Instead, patients eat animal fat and specific meat, all the time. Meats on the menu include lots of organ meat, sausage, and even hard-salami.
More than just Leaky Gut
This may sound strange to many readers. But if you suffer from the extreme malabsorption found in Crohn’s disease or other autoimmune issues of the gut, , this ain’t a bad bargain. For the entirety of my medical career, I’ve told patients to stay away from processed meat and high fat. Not true! Several small studies broke through the zero-cured label found in the treatment textbooks for these debilitating disorders. PKD lowered inflammation, healed their guts and reversed an otherwise fatal outcome.
The aforementioned studies used Polyethylene glycol 400(PEG400) to detect even the smallest break in our sealed barrier deep within our guts. PEG400 acts as a probe when swallowed. In a nicely sealed normal gut, only specific materials and molecules can enter. Only abnormal gaps between cells allow the PEG 400 to enter our circulation. The perfect gut would not allow any (or at least a very low level) of PEG400 into our body. Clearance of that marker lands it in your urine where it can be detected and measured.
A published study in 2016 described a young teenager with advanced Crohn’s disease. Placed on the Paleolithic ketogenic diet after failing everything else, his inflammation decreased, ulcers healed, and gaps sealed in less than 2 months. Thirty-five months later, he remains healthy!! No medications. Just clean eating.
Whether the Paleolithic ketogenic diet – for someone seriously ill – or the basic ketogenic diet, this is more than just weight loss. These diets repair the body and improve overall health, one ketone at a time!
References: Tóth, C., Dabóczi, A., Howard, M., J. Miller, N., & Clemens, Z. (2016). Crohn’s disease successfully treated with the paleolithic ketogenic diet. International Journal of Case Reports and Images, 7(9), 570.doi:10.5348/ijcri-2016102-cr-10690