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Rhonda Patrick: Intestinal Permeability

Updated: Jan 17

Release Date: 05/31/22

Podcast Duration: 58 min

A Summary by Brandon Johnson, DC

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Poor gut microbiome increases chances of systemic disease

  2. Stress and poor diet fuel bad gut bacteria (LPS-Lipopolysaccharide)

  3. Fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids reduce bad gut bacteria

  4. Bad gut bacteria can alter epigenetics (inherited traits that influence health) that are passed down to your children

  5. "Leaky" gut is often a product of poor microbiome ecosystem

The episode’s main theme is how intestinal permeability promotes the release of bacterial products into the gut and blood stream and how it affects the immune system for long term health.

Factors that Affect the Immune System and Gut

  1. Biomarkers in the form of LPS (lipopolysaccaride) cross the blood brain barrier and promote systemic inflammation

  2. The bacterial product LPS originates from an unhealthy gut

  3. Interacts directly with LDL (bad cholesterol) particles in a negative way and leads to a compromised blood brain barrier (the wall that stops bad toxins from entering the brain)

  4. Compromised blood stream leads to onset of Alzheimer's disease

  5. This causes inflammation in the body

  6. Results in an overactive or hyperresponsive immune system

  7. Hyperresponsive immune system affects brain functions and cardiovascular function

  8. Results in Autoimmune disease onset

  9. Immune decline and accelerated aging

  10. Lifestyle factors that regulate intestinal permeability and LPS production include:

  11. Alcohol, stress, gluten, saturated fat

  12. Increased LPS

  13. Fiber and omega 3 fatty acids

  14. Decreased LPS

Intestinal Permeability and LPS Release

  1. Lipopolysaccharide is a type of endotoxin present in the outer cell membrane of bacteria present in intestinal lining

  2. It signals immune cells to kill bacteria because it's a "threat"

  3. White blood cells are released creating a hyperimmune response

  4. Definition of Intestinal Permeability

  5. Our guts are semi-permeable but when there is a hyperpermeability, the gut lets more than just water and nutrients through the lining and into the blood stream

  6. Referred to as “leaky gut”

  7. Lipoproteins (HDL) in the liver plays a role in lowering LPS

  8. Lipoproteins binds to LPS

  9. Helps prevent our bodies from creating massive inflammation

  10. Reduces chances of sepsis and chronic disease

  11. Not all lipoproteins are getting recycled

  12. LPS particles bound to the LDL stay in circulation and create inflammation

  13. These small, dense LDL particles will insert themselves into the arterial lining and create plaque in your arteries

  14. Increases risk of heart disease and stroke

  15. LPS bound to HDL is recycled

  16. Healthy Microbiome creates butyrate in the gut which can help prevent LPS leakage

What effect can LPS have on Circulation and Brain Health?

  1. Effects of LPS on blood brain barrier (BBB) and brain functions

  2. The blood brain barrier much like the gut barrier is made-up of a series of endothelial cells that are bound to each other

  3. Micronutrients are transported through "tight junctions"

  4. LPS originating from intestinal permeability can breakdown some of the tight junctions itself and bind directly to receptors present on microglial (brain) cells

  5. Shifts the microglial cells in the brain from a protective mode to an attack mode

  6. Causes inflammation

  7. Breakdown of the blood brain barrier causes more permeability

  8. Vicious cycle of neuroinflammation (swelling of brain tissues) starts

Effects of Neuroinflammation?

  1. Nearly 50% of all dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are caused by Neural inflammation

  2. Causes symptoms of depression

  3. Feelings of social disconnection

  4. Causes issues like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia as well as neurodegeneration

  5. Affects the way our brain ages

  6. Accelerates brain aging

Effects of Chronic inflammation on Metabolism and Lifestyle

  1. Any type of chronic inflammation has been shown to play a role in accelerating epigenetic aging clocks

  2. Turns on unhealthy gene expression

  3. Suppression of inflammation has been shown to be important for aging, quality of life and cognition

Lifestyle factors

  1. Chronic stress

  2. Obesity

  3. Obesity itself has been associated with higher circulating levels of LPS biomarkers and increased intestinal permeability

  4. Extreme obesity BMI (body mass index) between 40 and 45 is associated with a 7-year decrease in life expectancy

  5. Morbid obesity is a BMI between 55 and 60 and is associated with a 14-year decrease in life expectancy

  6. Alcohol consumption

  7. Moderate alcohol consumption is healthy

  8. 2 drinks per week

  9. Diet

  10. Non-Gluten whole food diets are shown to reduce inflammation

Importance of Omega 3 Fatty acids

  1. Omega 3 fatty acid consumption can increase the concentration of butyrate producing bacteria in the gut

  2. A high omega-3 index has been associated with a 90% reduction in sudden cardiac death in the United States.

  3. Smoking accelerates the metabolic aging process

  4. Low omega-3 index smokers had the worst life expectancy

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