This diet can reduce leaky gut in older people

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In a new study from the University of Barcelona, researchers found a polyphenol-rich diet improves gut health in old people.

Polyphenols are compounds that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits.

The increase of intestinal permeability is associated with factors such as aging, food allergies and intolerances and unhealthy diets.

Intestinal permeability refers to how easily substances pass through the intestinal wall.

This alteration causes a reduction of the gut integrity barrier that triggers the transit of potentially-toxic substances for the blood and is related to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, and even Alzheimer’s.

This European study was carried out in people aged over sixty who underwent a polyphenol-rich diet for eight weeks.

The team found that including up to three daily portions of apple, cocoa, dark chocolate, green tea, cranberries, oranges or pomegranate juice, improves intestinal permeability when making specific changes in the intestinal microbiota.

The analysis of blood and fecal samples showed an increase of the serum metabolome related to the polyphenol intake.

For instance, theobromine and methylxanthine ─ derived from cocoa and green tea─ are positively correlated with butyrate-producing bacteria (a fatty acid in the intestinal flora), and inversely with zonulin, a protein related to intestinal permeability.

In short, changes in lifestyle and food are decisive as a prevention strategy for intestinal permeability associated to aging and chronic diseases.

The team says a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and foods such as those described in this paper provide fiber and polyphenols that could help counterbalance the damaging of permeability due to aging.

If you care about gut health and nutrition, please read studies about a gut feeling may be key to early detection of colon cancer and findings of this gut problem may be linked to restless legs syndrome.

For more information about gut and your health, please see recent studies about gut bacteria linked to chronic pain and results showing that these four ancient herbs may benefit your gut and metabolism.

The study is published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. One author of the study is Cristina Andrés-Lacueva.

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