Research Topic

Nutraceuticals: Novel Insights for a Natural Approach for Leaky Gut Syndrome

About this Research Topic

One of the most important functions of the intestine membrane is related to its selectivity, allowing the absorption of nutrients, and preventing the transition of both toxins and microorganisms from the intestinal lumen to the bloodstream. Evidence demonstrated that chronic low-grade inflammation related to ...

One of the most important functions of the intestine membrane is related to its selectivity, allowing the absorption of nutrients, and preventing the transition of both toxins and microorganisms from the intestinal lumen to the bloodstream. Evidence demonstrated that chronic low-grade inflammation related to the altered gut permeability may be associated with several intestinal diseases, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The integrity of the intestinal membrane depends on the combined action of different actors, including tight junctions, microbiota, and intestinal immune system. It has been reported that the intestinal low-grade inflammation may alter the mucosal barrier function, resulting in the transition of endotoxins (i.e. lipopolysaccharides, LPS) and microorganisms in the systemic circulation. During an acute inflammatory process, indeed, INF-γ and pro-inflammatory cytokines cause the increase of the paracellular permeability, resulting in the internalization of claudin 1-4 and the over-expression of claudin 2.

A modest body of evidence described the therapeutic potential of numerous natural bioactive compounds in the modulation of the intestinal permeability, and, among them, polyphenols are good candidates. In particular, in vitro studies on colon carcinoma cell lines suggest the involvement of polyphenols at different levels, including (i) improvement of membrane integrity and permeability, evaluated by the increased Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER); (ii) increased expression of tight junction-related proteins, including zonulin, occluding and claudins; and (iii) anti-inflammatory activity, exerted via down-regulation of IL8 and IL6. Similarly, animal-based studies confirmed the anti-inflammatory effect and the up-regulation of tight junction-related proteins as main mechanisms of action for the protective effect of polyphenols in altered intestinal permeability. These results strongly encourage the design of further investigation aiming at individual potential nutraceutical approaches for the management of altered intestinal permeability-related diseases and elucidating the exact mechanisms of action.

The current Research Topic welcomes promising, recent, and novel research trends in the leaky gut and nutraceutical-like fields. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Development of nutraceutical formulations for the management of altered intestinal permeability-related diseases.
In vitro studies elucidating the main mechanisms of action of food-derived bioactive compounds in leaky gut cell models.
In vivo studies on animal models of leaky gut chronically treated with nutraceutical formulations.
• Clinical trials on subjects with altered intestinal permeability-related diseases (i.e. IBS) chronically treated with nutraceutical formulations.

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One can find more information about the Article Types guidelines in the Ethnopharmacology section here).

All the manuscripts submitted to this project will be peer-reviewed and need to fully comply with the Four Pillars of Best Practice in Ethnopharmacology (you can freely download the full version here).


Keywords: Nutraceutical; polyphenols; phytochemicals; gut permeability; leaky gut


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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