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Medicina Funcional Integrativa

Intestinal mucosa: the enemies that can make danger lurk

The digestion process aims to transform the food we eat into substances that can be absorbed and that come to integrate our own organism and its complex biological mechanisms.

These substances are called nutrients.

The absorption of nutrients is carried out by active selection of the mucosa

The absorption of nutrients is carried out through the intestinal mucosa along the small intestine and the colon by a complex and delicate mechanism and according to very strict criteria.

In fact, the cells of the intestinal mucosa choose, among all the substances present inside the intestine, those that are adequate and necessary and, therefore, meet the conditions to be absorbed.

These are then “pulled” into the intestinal mucosal cell which then delivers them to the bloodstream in a process known as pinocytosis.

A notion of the utmost importance must be retained: the intestinal absorption of nutrients is carried out according to a process of active selection of the intestinal mucosa.

Mucosal integrity is required!

The selective absorption of nutrients is only possible if the intestinal mucosa is healthy and intact.

The cells of the healthy intestinal mucosa are connected to each other and form a kind of barrier through which it is not possible to pass without authorization.

When a nutrient is selected to enter, then it is the cell itself that pulls it in and lets it in.

Nothing can pass through the cells of the intestinal mucosa.

But if the intestinal mucosa ceases to be healthy, becomes inflamed, and cracks or spaces between its cells begin to appear, then many substances can enter our organism without having been selected and authorized.

When the intestinal mucosa has lost the ability to selectively absorb nutrients, it is said that we are facing intestinal hyperpermeability.

The dangers of intestinal hyperpermeability

Substances that enter our system without being selected can be the cause of multiple health problems.

Many of these substances may be identified by our immune system as foreign to our body and therefore trigger complex inflammatory responses that may be at the origin of autoimmune diseases or other chronic inflammatory diseases.

Other wrongly absorbed substances may become active in various biochemical mechanisms and alter organic functioning.

This is the case of the cerebral action of gluteomorphins and casomorphins.

A hyperpermeable intestinal mucosa is an open door to many toxic substances whose absorption has consequences for health that are still far from being fully known.

What are the causes of intestinal hyperpermeability?

There are three groups of factors involved in the genesis of intestinal hyperpermeability.


The frequent eating of foods to which one is allergic, intolerant or sensitive.

Personal reactivity to agro-industrial additives, dyes and food preservatives.

Intestinal flora

The microorganisms that make up the intestinal flora, healthy and balanced, produce essential substances for maintaining the vitality of the cells of the intestinal mucosa and for its integrity.

An intestinal flora without sufficient amounts of acidophilic bacteria or with the opportunistic development of other germs, the fungus candida, for example, can be a very important and little thought about cause of intestinal hyperpermeability.

Natural drugs and phytochemicals

There are many drugs that can cause, directly or indirectly, inflammation and change the absorption of the intestinal mucosa, but anti-inflammatory drugs, stomach acid production inhibitors from the omeprazole family, antibiotics, chemotherapy and radiotherapy deserve special mention.

Among the natural substances used for their phytochemical therapeutic effects, we draw special attention to laxatives, especially those containing senna.

But many plant extracts can be the cause of intestinal inflammation due to allergy or personal sensitivity or their use for too long.

The intestinal mucosa represents our largest surface of contact, interaction and protection against the outside world.

Providing you with the conditions to remain healthy and functional is a health imperative.

EsmeraldAzul – for a healthy, conscious and sustainable life.

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