Leaky gut, or “intestinal permeability,” … is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products, and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and flood the bloodstream. ~ Samantha Parent-Walravens
The gastrointestinal system, also known as the gut, includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum. Home to the microbiome – a complex ecosystem of “good” and “bad” bacteria – the gut is one of the most intricate parts of the human body.
Donald Kirby, MD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic, says, “Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.”
Immune system organ? Wait a second. Doesn’t the gut have to do with food, liquids, digestion and all that stuff? Indeed it does, but that’s just one (albeit, critical) function of the gut.
Dr. Kirby calls the gut the most important immune system organ in part because it houses about 70 percent of the immune system’s cells. Besides being an inextricable part of the immune system, the gut is an extension of the brain! Here’s Scientific American:
“Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the long tube of our gut …”