Leaky gut syndrome

Solutions in search of a problem?

Nutritionists often take against milk, as seen in “is dairy ‘cancer food’” (answer: probably not). What could be better than to link an unprovable cause to an unproven condition? From August 1988:

Those with coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut syndrome or ulcerative colitis may find it difficult not only to deal with lactose but also to digest cow’s milk protein.

See how leaky gut syndrome is snuck in there among the real diseases?

In discussing Ménière’s diseaseW in June 1999, under the banner “Scientifically proven alternatives to conventional medicine” (we must talk about Minchin’s Law some time),

Although orthodox medical literature mainly blames salt and advises a salt-free diet […] in naturopathic medicine salt, gluten, caffeine, fried foods, alcohol, and any drugs are all considered possible culprits and are routinely removed from the diet […] Other naturopathic measures include supplementing with calcium to improve the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in the diet, plus vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. Another cause could be increased intestinal permeability—the so-called leaky gut syndrome, or malabsorption.

Who would have predicted that nutritionists would advise a grab-bag of things with no known connection to the condition, and a diagnosis that medical science says is bogus?

By June 2007 the hare is off and we have the non-existent leaky gut syndrome linked to the non-existent chronic Lyme disease:

How does Borrelia do this? It’s thought that the bacteria burrow their way between the cells of the brain’s outermost membrane, causing a localized inflammation that, in turn, releases proteins to fight against the bacterial invasion; this then results in holes in the cerebral membrane. It’s much the same mechanism as seen in the leaky-gut syndrome but, in this case, it’s potentially more serious as it involves the brain.

In May 2013 the non-existent condition is an established fact, which can be used to bash another of WDDTY’s favourite Aunt Sallies: antibiotics:

He’d had what he called the usual amount of antibiotics in his lifetime, which meant he could well have a fungus in his system, most certainly in his bowels, which he agreed did not function as well as they should.

That situation might lead to the ‘leaky gut syndrome’, where the membrane in the lower intestine becomes more permeable. Unbroken down foods can then escape into his bloodstream, which would have a further inflammatory effect on a particular target in the body.

This is in the context of an anecdote about a lad who had a lump below his knee, refused to have it biopsied because a biopsy could “upset the tumour and possibly make it spread”, so went to Harald Gaier who “put him on BioBran to improve his immune system, and gave him chlorine dioxide tablets to clear any infections and a variety of nutrients to take every day, especially vitamin C and a probiotic.”

Needless to say the cancer separated itself from his knee, was safely removed without the amputation the surgeons feared might be necessary, and the lad is all clear. It would be churlish to point out that a well-differentiated sarcoma would probably have been swiftly removed without amputation, and the worst-case scenario was given because prior to diagnosis there was no way of telling the extent or involvement of bones, and oncologists are habitually brutally honest.

Few things are more terrifying than alternative non-oncologists (or “noncologists” as they are sometimes termed) giving primary treatment for suspected cancers.

And so to October 2013, where WDDTY offers you a handy infobox on “healing your ‘leaky gut'”:

heal-leaky-gut (2)

Note the age of the studies. None of them show that leaky gut syndrome exists, and it’s likely they are collected and recycled from earlier issues.

In all, between 1992 and 2013 leaky gut is mentioned in over 40 issues. At no time over this period of more than two decades does WDDTY seem to have begun to challenge a diagnosis that is based on speculation and misrepresentation of facts. At no time has WDDTY warned readers that speculative diagnoses of “leaky gut syndrome” might be a red flag for other forms of fraud.

What Doctors Don't Tell You
Why don’t doctors tell you that leaky gut syndrome is the cause of irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other diseases?

Because there’s no good evidence it even exists, let alone causes these things.

2 thoughts on “Leaky gut syndrome”

  1. Pingback: Daily Overload – News in short (11-12-2013) « The Skeptical Bear

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