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What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome And How To Treat It

Exactly what causes Leaky Gut Syndrome is closer to being finalized, as brand new research indicates that the consumption of Sucralose, the chemical in Splenda, is the main factor to blame. Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition that affects the lining of the small intestine. It causes increased permeability or leakage of toxins, bacteria, and undigested food particles into the bloodstream. This can lead to a variety of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, fatigue, skin rashes, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

An imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome. In addition to sucralose, a poor diet, antibiotic use, stress, and other factors all play a role. In some cases, Leaky Gut Syndrome can lead to more serious health complications such as autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and chronic fatigue syndrome. With the right lifestyle changes, it is possible to reduce or even eliminate Leaky Gut Syndrome.

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are two conditions that often overlap. They both involve the gastrointestinal system and can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, such as bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, and food allergies or sensitivities. While these conditions have their distinct differences, research suggests that there may be a link between the two.

IBS is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and can cause abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. It is usually caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the intestines or sensitivity to certain foods. IBS symptoms can be triggered by stress and dietary changes, and it is often linked to Leaky Gut Syndrome.1

Studies have found that individuals with IBS tend to have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their blood as well as increased intestinal permeability.2 3 Hence, the link between the two conditions.

Read more about IBS.

Leaky Gut And Autoimmune Conditions

Leaky gut and autoimmunity are closely linked, as the former can lead to an immune system response that causes inflammation and increases the risk of developing autoimmune conditions.4

When the tight junctions between cells in the intestinal lining become overly permeable and allow larger molecules to pass through, it leads to an immune system response, as these molecules are seen as foreign bodies. The body then tries to fight them off resulting in inflammation, which causes long-term damage.

Autoimmune conditions related to Leaky Gut Syndrome include Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In these cases, the body mistakenly attacks itself due to the presence of foreign molecules which are seen as a threat. This can lead to chronic inflammation and tissue damage over time.5

Read more about autoimmune conditions.

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome - autoimmune

Leaky Gut Syndrome And High Zonulin Levels

Individuals with Leaky Gut Syndrome have high zonulin levels. Zonulin is a protein involved in the regulation of intestinal permeability. The zonulin pathway is the main mechanism for intestinal hyperpermeability. When triggered by certain environmental factors such as gluten or microbial exposure, zonulin binds to tight junctions between cells in the intestinal lining, causing them to separate and open. This creates a pathway for the passage of unwanted particles and substances from the gut into circulation.6

Leaky Gut Syndrome And Antibiotic Use

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat a variety of infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria causing the infection but also healthy bacteria in the gut, which can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome.7

Leaky Gut Syndrome And Stress

Stress is one of the main factors that can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome. Stress can have a damaging effect on gut health, causing tight junctions within the digestive tract to become weak and permeable.8 The best way to combat the effects of stress on Leaky Gut Syndrome is through lifestyle changes and proper nutrition. Engaging in activities such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation can help reduce overall levels of stress.

Leaky Gut Syndrome And Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption can have a lasting effect on our gut health. When alcohol is consumed, it dissolves intestinal mucosal lipids, resulting in an increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut.9

Leaky Gut Syndrome And Sugar Consumption

Leaky gut is a condition that is linked to the overconsumption of sugar. Excess consumption of sugar causes inflammation in the small intestine, leading to increased permeability of its walls.

Fructose, found in table sugar, fruits, and common sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup can wreak havoc on the digestive system. Too much fructose consumption can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome.10

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome – Sucralose (Splenda)

In June of 2023, a brand new study indicated that sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda, is directly responsible for causing Leaky Gut Syndrome. This study goes on to say that sucralose causes gut health problems because it causes DNA damage. This has resulted in sucralose being labeled genotoxic. The main researcher in the study, Susan Schiffman, Ph.D., said, “It’s something you should not be eating.”11

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome - Sucralose Splenda

Sucralose Negatively Affects Glucose And Insulin Levels

Sucralose has also been shown to cause adverse effects on glucose and insulin levels. In a study conducted in 2022, researchers found that ingesting sucralose caused a significant decrease in the body’s uptake of glucose and an increase in insulin levels. 

This inevitably leads to long-term health complications such as metabolic syndrome. Additionally, the study also found that sucralose had an adverse effect on gut bacteria, causing an imbalance in the bacteria population.12

Avoid Leaky Gut Syndrome By Staying Away From Products That Contain Sucralose

Sucralose is found in a variety of products, including sugar-free beverages, baked goods, sauces and condiments, jellies and jams, frozen desserts, sports drinks, energy bars, and even toothpaste. Additionally, sucralose is often used as an ingredient in low-calorie or sugar-free products, such as yogurt and other dairy products, diet sodas and juices, salad dressings, flavored syrups, and meal replacement drinks. 

Many of these products are marketed as health foods due to their low-calorie content but may still contain sucralose. It is important to read nutrition labels carefully to determine which products contain sucralose. To limit exposure to this artificial sweetener, look for products that are labeled as 100% natural or organic and do not contain any artificial ingredients.

In some cases, manufacturers may use the term “natural sweetener” on their products, such as sugar-free gum or candy. This can be misleading, as the product may still contain sucralose. To avoid this confusion, it is important to read all labels carefully and look for specific ingredients like “sucralose.” Be aware that some food items may also contain sucralose without being labeled as such, such as some protein bars and meal replacement drinks. Therefore, it is important to read all nutrition labels carefully before purchasing any food item.

Stay Away From Other Artificial Sweeteners Like Aspartame And Acesulfame Potassium

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) also have harmful effects on health. Numerous studies have found that consuming artificial sweeteners can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity. It can also disrupt gut health and increase inflammation levels in the body.13

Avoid Or Reverse Leaky Gut Syndrome By Eating A Healthy Diet

So many diseases that are becoming increasingly popular today can be eradicated and reversed by a lifestyle change. Instead of choosing processed options that are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients like sucralose, choose natural, whole foods that contribute to good health.

A diet like my Cellular Healing Diet focuses on eating natural, organic food that is relatively high in natural fats found in grass-fed meat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. By consuming a diet similar to what our ancestors ate before the advent of modern farming, we give our bodies exactly what they need and nothing more.

Read more about my Cellular Healing Diet here.

Reverse Leaky Gut Syndrome By Eating A Healthy Diet

Reversing Leaky Gut Syndrome With Prebiotic Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS)

Galacto-oligosaccharides, or GOS, are a type of prebiotic carbohydrate found in certain foods such as chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. They have been studied for their potential to positively impact the gut microbiome. Research suggests that GOS may be able to help restore balance to the intestinal microbiota, which can reduce the symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome. 

GOS is also effective in reducing inflammation, which is often linked with intestinal permeability. Additionally, GOS may help improve digestion and nutrient absorption, making this prebiotic beneficial for those suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome and other gut-related issues.14

Overall, GOS appears to be a promising supplement for those suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome or other digestive issues.

Leaky Gut Syndrome And Glutamine

Glutamine plays a particularly important role in the health of the gut. It is an essential amino acid that helps to strengthen the protective layer of the intestinal wall, reduces inflammation, and reduces intestinal permeability.15

Supplementing with glutamine can help repair the damage from Leaky Gut Syndrome and restore intestinal barrier integrity.

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome And How To Treat It

The cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome and so many other autoimmune conditions like IBS is gut dysbiosis. In the case of Leaky Gut Syndrome, overuse of antibiotics, an unhealthy diet that is high in carbs, as well as the artificial sweetener sucralose is to blame. By cutting out sugar, sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners from your diet and eating a natural, whole food-based diet that includes prebiotic GOS and glutamine, you can reverse Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Read more about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS).


1 Camilleri M. Leaky gut: mechanisms, measurement and clinical implications in humans. Gut. 2019 Aug;68(8):1516-1526. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-318427. Epub 2019 May 10. PMID: 31076401; PMCID: PMC6790068.

2 Ng QX, Soh AYS, Loke W, Lim DY, Yeo WS. The role of inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). J Inflamm Res. 2018 Sep 21;11:345-349. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S174982. PMID: 30288077; PMCID: PMC6159811.

3 Miglietta S, Borghini R, Relucenti M, Sorrentino V, Chen R, Li X, Fazi F, Donato G, Familiari G, Petrozza V, Picarelli A. New Insights into Intestinal Permeability in Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Like Disorders: Histological and Ultrastructural Findings of Duodenal Biopsies. Cells. 2021 Sep 29;10(10):2593. doi: 10.3390/cells10102593. PMID: 34685576; PMCID: PMC8533783.

4 Paray BA, Albeshr MF, Jan AT, Rather IA. Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity: An Intricate Balance in Individuals Health and the Diseased State. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 21;21(24):9770. doi: 10.3390/ijms21249770. PMID: 33371435; PMCID: PMC7767453.

5 Fasano A. All disease begins in the (leaky) gut: role of zonulin-mediated gut permeability in the pathogenesis of some chronic inflammatory diseases. F1000Res. 2020 Jan 31;9:F1000 Faculty Rev-69. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.20510.1. PMID: 32051759; PMCID: PMC6996528.

6 Hoshiko H, Feskens EJM, Oosterink E, Ariens RMC, Mes JJ, de Wit NJW. Identification of leaky gut-related markers as indicators of metabolic health in Dutch adults: The Nutrition Questionnaires plus (NQplus) study. PLoS One. 2021 Jun 4;16(6):e0252936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252936. PMID: 34086828; PMCID: PMC8177645.

7 Iizumi T, Battaglia T, Ruiz V, Perez Perez GI. Gut Microbiome and Antibiotics. Arch Med Res. 2017 Nov;48(8):727-734. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2017.11.004. Epub 2017 Dec 6. PMID: 29221800.

8 Karl JP, Margolis LM, Madslien EH, Murphy NE, Castellani JW, Gundersen Y, Hoke AV, Levangie MW, Kumar R, Chakraborty N, Gautam A, Hammamieh R, Martini S, Montain SJ, Pasiakos SM. Changes in intestinal microbiota composition and metabolism coincide with increased intestinal permeability in young adults under prolonged physiological stress. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2017 Jun 1;312(6):G559-G571. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00066.2017. Epub 2017 Mar 23. PMID: 28336545.

9 Qin X, Deitch EA. Dissolution of lipids from mucus: a possible mechanism for prompt disruption of gut barrier function by alcohol. Toxicol Lett. 2015 Jan 22;232(2):356-62. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.11.027. Epub 2014 Nov 25. PMID: 25445722; PMCID: PMC4291284.

10 Binienda A, Twardowska A, Makaro A, Salaga M. Dietary Carbohydrates and Lipids in the Pathogenesis of Leaky Gut Syndrome: An Overview. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Nov 8;21(21):8368. doi: 10.3390/ijms21218368. PMID: 33171587; PMCID: PMC7664638.

11 Susan S. Schiffman, Elizabeth H. Scholl, Terrence S. Furey & H. Troy Nagle (2023) Toxicological and pharmacokinetic properties of sucralose-6-acetate and its parent sucralose: in vitro screening assays, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, DOI: 10.1080/10937404.2023.2213903

12 Méndez-García LA, Bueno-Hernández N, Cid-Soto MA, De León KL, Mendoza-Martínez VM, Espinosa-Flores AJ, Carrero-Aguirre M, Esquivel-Velázquez M, León-Hernández M, Viurcos-Sanabria R, Ruíz-Barranco A, Cota-Arce JM, Álvarez-Lee A, De León-Nava MA, Meléndez G, Escobedo G. Ten-Week Sucralose Consumption Induces Gut Dysbiosis and Altered Glucose and Insulin Levels in Healthy Young Adults. Microorganisms. 2022 Feb 14;10(2):434. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10020434. PMID: 35208888; PMCID: PMC8880058.

13 Walbolt J, Koh Y. Non-nutritive Sweeteners and Their Associations with Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020 Jun 30;29(2):114-123. doi: 10.7570/jomes19079. PMID: 32482914; PMCID: PMC7338497.

14 Arnold JW, Roach J, Fabela S, Moorfield E, Ding S, Blue E, Dagher S, Magness S, Tamayo R, Bruno-Barcena JM, Azcarate-Peril MA. The pleiotropic effects of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides on the aging gut. Microbiome. 2021 Jan 28;9(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s40168-020-00980-0. Erratum in: Microbiome. 2021 Feb 26;9(1):56. PMID: 33509277; PMCID: PMC7845053.

15 Zhou Q, Verne ML, Fields JZ, Lefante JJ, Basra S, Salameh H, Verne GN. Randomised placebo-controlled trial of dietary glutamine supplements for postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2019 Jun;68(6):996-1002. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315136. Epub 2018 Aug 14. PMID: 30108163; PMCID: PMC9549483.

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