A majority of Americans are choosing dairy-free food options. However, is dairy actually bad for your gut? If you’re wondering if you can still consume your favorite dairy food items when you’re trying to heal your leaky gut, then take a look at what our team has to say.
A leaky gut is otherwise known as increased intestinal permeability. It happens when inflammation in your gut causes the cells to have more space between them. Your intestines are supposed to have some space between the cells so that nutrients can pass into your bloodstream. However, when the spacing becomes too great then it causes substances or partially digested food to leak out of your gut into your blood stream.
When your body senses these “foreign invaders”, it sends in fighter cells to attack. However, your body has a hard time distinguishing between the foreign invaders and it’s own cells. This leads to even more inflammation in the blood stream and in your bodies “weak links” where these leaked substances accumulate. Your body now sees these “enemy substances” and generates an immune response to fight them. This response can result in “collateral damage” and begin to destroy or damage both the perceived “invaders” and also healthy body cells. This is a process is found in auto – immune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The exact causes of a leaky gut are not known. However, we do know that a substance called zonulin is responsible for how tight the junctions are between your intestinal cells. The more zonulin, the bigger the gap between the cells. Elavated levels of zonulin have been associated with gluten and imbalanced gut bacteria.
Prolonged use of NSAIDS has been shown to increase gut inflammation. Poor gut biodiversity has also been associated with increased gut permeability as well.
A majority of people are sensitive to dairy. This means that they cannot digest the proteins (casein and whey) or sugar (lactose) found in milk. If your body cannot digest these, then it causes intestinal distress. Over time, continued consumption of dairy may cause damage to your gut. For people who are sensitive to gluten, the dairy proteins may look very similar to those of gluten in a process known as “molecular mimicry”. The body may respond to dairy with an inflammatory response similar to that which occurs in gluten sensitive individuals exposed to gluten. Always believe your body. If you have a reaction to dairy or think you are sensitive to dairy , then dairy should be avoided. Remember if in doubt, leave it out.
However, there may be health benefits to consuming dairy in moderation. The protein casein has been shown to increase certain types of probiotics that are only fed with the prebiotics found in dairy. Fermented dairy products are also a great way to consume probiotics.
Moderate amounts of fermented dairy products such as kefir and yogurt are important for healing your gut. They will provide a diverse gut microbiome. Just make sure you avoid dairy foods that aren’t fermented such as milk and cheese. Other good foods to help your gut heal include:
Your body chemistry is unique to you and how it tolerates certain foods. That’s why we do specific tests to evaluate those foods and chemicals to which you may be sensitive . We then use this test information to set up an individual plan based upon your specific body sensitivities and nutritional needs to determine the foods to eat and the foods to avoid.
Leaky Gut Syndrome wreaks havoc on your body and can cause health issues all over your body including weight gain. If you think you have a leaky gut, then our team can help you out. The Gut Authority will work hard to discover the exact cause of your issue and then work with you to empower your body to heal itself. Give us a call so we can set up an appointment!