This healthy diet can reduce leaky gut in older people

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A recent study from the University of Barcelona 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 in 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 disease, 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 with 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 damage of permeability due to aging.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about low-carb diet may lower blood sugar in people with prediabetes, and vitamin D twice a day may keep vertigo problem away.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about the key to treating high blood pressure, and results showing Vitamin D deficiency directly linked to dementia.

The study was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Cristina Andrés-Lacueva et al.

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