I want to talk about something called “leaky brain”.

Many people have heard of “leaky gut”, but there is something called “leaky brain”. With “leaky brain”, we’ll see brain fog, changes in mood like anxiety and depression.

I want to talk about how this happens. Let’s start with the importance of the integrity of the gut lining. Leaky brain is actually an extension of this. We can be eating foods that aren’t agreeing with our gut. We can be taking in toxic loads that are injuring our microbiome, one of the first defenses of the gut lining. Then we can have damage to the tight junctions of the digestive tract, which are the proteins that hold the cells of the digestive tract together, so then we have these small holes in the gut lining where food that is not completely digested ends up in the blood stream. Toxins and undigested foods end up in the bloodstream and this elicits a whole immune response leading to inflammatory factors as the body attacks these foreign bodies that shouldn’t be in the blood stream.

Now we have this barrier to the nervous system called the blood-brain-barrier, this is a barrier from the blood to your nervous system and brain. And this barrier is also a one-cell deep barrier with the cells held together by tight junctions. These tight junctions in the blood-brain-barrier can be damaged the same way that tight junctions in the gut lining can be damaged. So then the toxins, undigested foods and inflammatory factors can damage the tight junctions of the blood-brain-barrier, then these toxins and inflammatory factors can make their way into the nervous system and be affecting brain function. This is how we get “leaky brain”.

So to recap, this happens because of the breakdown of the tight junctions of the gut lining, toxins make their way into the blood, then they damage the tight junctions of the blood-brain-barrier and toxins have access to the nervous system and the brain.