Wednesday, August 17, 2016
New Testing Array Fine-Tunes Dx of "Leaky Gut"
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 13:42
By Erik Goldman
Intestinal permeability, or "leaky gut," which used to be dismissed as a bogus diagnosis, has become the focus of much attention in recent years, as researchers identify the mechanisms by which chronic exposure to toxins and food allergens damages the integrity of the endothelial lining.
In clinical practice, however, the diagnosis and treatment of this increasingly common condition could hardly be called precise. Practitioners have traditionally relied on symptom patterns, a handful of food allergy tests, and large doses of educated guesswork to make the diagnosis.
Enter Array 2, the new test panel just launched by Cyrex Laboratories.
The new test spotlights seven antigens and bacterial lipopolysaccharides associated with increased intestinal permeability and the breakdown of endothelial barrier function, enabling clinicians to arrive at a more precise diagnosis. Specifically, the new test panel can distinguish specific pathways by which the intestinal wall is breached and large, pro-inflammatory molecules are entering the bloodstream.
Speaking broadly, antigens cross from the lumen of the intestine to the bloodstream via either paracellular pathways (ie between endothelial cells at sites where tight junctions have broken down) or via transcellular pathways (resulting from breakdown of endothelial cell membrane integrity). The Array 2 panel gives specific, detailed information to help clinicians fine-tune their diagnoses.
“I consider the Cyrex Array 2 to be the most effective laboratory study available for evaluating gut permeability," said neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, author of the popular Grain Brain, in a press release issued by Cyrex.
Increased intestinal permeability has been linked to a host of common autoimmune conditions including chronic fatigue, arthritis, inflammatory skin conditions, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular disease. It also correlates with increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
Perlmutter says that knowing the precise pathways of degeneration of intestinal barrier function will take some of the guesswork out of treating patients with clear signs of leaky gut, and help practitioners tailor their therapeutic strategies.