The Gut Connection
Studies in respected medical journals, such as the Lancet, the British Medical Journal and the International Journal of Gastroenterology have suggested that leaky gut causes autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and many other diverse health issues, including allergies, autism, depression, eczema, psoriasis, metabolic syndrome, and possibly many more diseases that are now being seen as autoimmune conditions for the first time.
More researchers and clinicians are coming around to the idea that leaky gut may provide a unifying theory for most autoimmune conditions. Normally, the body has a system of checks and balances that keeps overzealous antibody activity in line. The major player in that balance? The microbiome. But critical components of our gut community are going missing.
A group of researchers at Caltech discovered that Bacteroides fragilis, a strain of “old friend” bacteria present in 70 percent to 80 percent of humans, helps the immune system stay in balance by supporting anti-inflammatory functions. In animal studies, the researchers proved that when B. fragilis is present, it basically acts as a referee, helping restore a peaceful balance between pro‐ and anti‐inflammatory immune cells. Sadly, B. fragilis is one of the bacterial strains that have become endangered in recent history, which the Caltech researchers believe is directly related to our rapid uptick in autoimmune conditions.