Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leaky Gut?

I do not believe that there is something called leaky gut -- that eating certain foods makes the intestine porous. Well, maybe some random dude in the UK has it.

But when I read something like this (of course, from a site named "moondancer" -- so one expects to read less trustworthy opinion and more new age fad stuff of the "do no harm" category):

Use acidophilus supplements. While the liver breaks down estrogen before sending it to the digestive tract for elimination, bacteria in the intestines can turn these breakdown products back into estrogen.

I want to know: can it be true?

Well, the liver does break down estrogen and other hormones LIKE PROGESTERONE. So tamoxifen, which damages the liver, sounds like a pretty bad plan, doesn't it? But what about this, that your liver was working hard, but unless you take probiotics, your intestines will undo all of that work?

Lifesource4life (http://www.lifesource4life.com/conditions/c-fibroids.htm) doesn't seem any more authoritative than moondancer, but:

The liver is responsible for breaking down estrogen (and other hormones) and secreting the metabolites into the large intestine for elimination. If the liver does not metabolize estrogen and its metabolites properly, then it is recycled throughout the body.

While the liver is the dominant player in estrogen metabolism, the flora or “friendly bacteria” in the large intestine are also important in estrogen metabolism. They prevent the reactivation and recycling of these unwanted estrogens. Conversely, “unfriendly bacteria” secrete an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase that causes estrogen to be recycled back through the body via the large intestine.

Reading wikipedia, I get very little I understand:

Beta-glucuronidases are members of the glycosidase family of enzymes that catalyze breakdown of complex carbohydrates.[2] Human β-glucuronidase is a type of glucuronidase (a member of glycosidase Family 2) that catalyzes hydrolysis of β-D-glucuronic acid residues from the non-reducing end of mucopolysaccharides (also referred to as glycosaminoglycans) such as heparan sulfate.[2][3][4] Human β-glucuronidase is located in the lysosome. [5] In the gut, brush border β-glucuronidase converts conjugated bilirubin to the unconjugated form for reabsorption. β-glucuronidase is also present in breast milk, and its action contributes to neonatal jaundice.

Except, hm, looks like it is supposed to be reabsorbed, is estrogen a complex carb? and look up lysosome.

Looking up jaundice, the fault is bilirubin.

But look, there's more:

The bacteria in the adult gut convert conjugated bilirubin to stercobilinogen which is then oxidized to stercobilin and excreted in the stool. In the absence of sufficient bacteria, the bilirubin is de-conjugated by brush border β-glucuronidase and reabsorbed. This process of re-absorption is called enterohepatic circulation.

Look up enterohepatic circulation.

Second, the breast-milk of some women contains a metabolite of progesterone called 3-alpha-20-beta pregnanediol. This substance inhibits the action of the enzyme uridine diphosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA) glucuronyl transferase responsible for conjugation and subsequent excretion of bilirubin.

Hmmm. Here we have PROGESTERONE.

Phototherapy works through a process of isomerization that changes trans-bilirubin into the water-soluble cis-bilirubin isomer.

Hmmm. This might be why moondancer said something like get plenty of sun but with very high spf sunscreen.

Thus far... noooo yoghurt...

One rat of each pair received an intraduodenal infusion of rat bile plus breast-milk; the other rat received a similar amount of bile and milk plus the beta-glucuronidase inhibitor saccharolactone. Rats receiving saccharolactone excreted significantly less bilirubin in their bile, suggesting that inhibition of beta-glucuronidase decreased intestinal absorption of bilirubin.

But wait, bilirubin, estrogen. Huh?

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