Leaky gut syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a hypothetical, medically unrecognized condition.
While increased intestinal permeability ("leaky gut") is a phenomenon recognized by mainstream science, claims for the existence of "leaky gut syndrome" as a distinct medical condition are mostly made by nutritionists and practitioners of alternative medicine. Proponents claim that a "leaky gut" causes chronic inflammation throughout the body that results in a wide range of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and autism. As of 2016[update], there is little evidence to support the hypothesis that leaky gut syndrome directly causes this wide array of diseases, although research is ongoing.
Stephen Barrett has described "leaky gut syndrome" as a fad diagnosis and says that its proponents use the alleged condition as an opportunity to promote a number of alternative health remedies including diets, herbal preparations, and dietary supplements. In 2009, Seth Kalichman wrote that some pseudoscientists claim that the passage of proteins through a "leaky" gut is the cause of autism. The belief that a "leaky gut" might actually cause autism is widespread among the public, but the evidence is weak and what evidence there is, is conflicting.
Various treatments are touted for "leaky gut syndrome", such as dietary supplements, probiotics, herbal remedies, gluten-free foods, and low FODMAP, low sugar, or antifungal diets, but there is little evidence that the treatments offered are of benefit. None have been adequately tested to determine if they are safe and effective for this purpose. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend the use of special diets to manage the main symptoms of autism.
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