Supporting Gut Barrier Function


While there is much discussion about "Leaky Gut Syndrome" within the integrative medical community, there is less knowledge about the fundamentals of the gut barrier and how the microbiome and immune system function to maintain that barrier. This lecture is designed to bring clinicians "up-to-speed" on the basic fundamentals of gut barrier physiology, discuss the primary ways that it fails (and how to test for this) and review the evidence for non-pharmacological therapies that can improve gut barrier function.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the cells, proteins and processes that are designed to maintain a healthy gut interface.
  2. Understand how the microbiome and immune system interface, and is dependent on a close, but controlled interface through the gut epithelial layer.
  3. Review tests and clinical signs used to assess the functional permeability of a person's gut barrier.
  4. Learn the evidence for specific therapies that can improve barrier function

Keywords: gastrointestinal disorders – intestinal barrier function – Leaky Gut Syndrome

References: 1- Functional Strategies for the Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders. (Guilliams, Point Institute 2016). 2- Alessio Fasano Physiol Rev 2011;91:151-175: Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer. 3- The Roles of Glutamine in the Intestine and Its Implication in Intestinal Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 May 12;18(5).

Thomas Guilliams, PhDThomas Guilliams, PhD

Thomas G. Guilliams PhD (Tom) earned his doctorate in molecular immunology from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. For the past two decades, he has spent his time investigating the mechanisms and actions of lifestyle and nutrient-based therapies, and is an expert in the therapeutic uses of dietary supplements.

Tom serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin - School of Pharmacy and is the VP of Science for Ortho Molecular Products. Since 2014 he has been writing a series of teaching manuals (Road maps) that outline and evaluate the evidence for the principles and protocols that are fundamental to the functional and integrative medical community. He is the founder and director of the Point Institute, an independent research and publishing organization that facilitates the distribution of his many publications.

A frequent guest-speaker, Dr. Guilliams provides training to a variety of health care disciplines in the use of lifestyle and natural medicines. He lives in the woods outside of Stevens Point, Wisconsin with his wife and children.