Lactobacillus Salivarius UCC118 is an organism that has been shown to improve the tight junctions between the cells that line the intestine. Tight junctions are the potential spaces between adjacent cells that, if not blocked, will allow direct access to the blood and lymphatic systems by bacteria and large proteins that should never gain access with a healthy intestinal barrier. Unwanted substances, whether bacteria or partially digested foods, have the ability to elicit an immune reaction that may ultimately increase inflammation, auto-immunity and compromise health. There has been mounting evidence that all auto-immune diseases have at their origin a compromised mucosal barrier (i.e. leaky gut) and the subsequent immune response to what the body perceives as a foreign assault.
UCC118 has been shown to protect the barrier proteins within the tight junctions to prevent the unwanted translocation of foreign material into the blood and lymphatic systems. As an additional benefit UCC118 produces bacteriocins, natural antibiotics that suppress the growth of other disease-causing bacteria, thereby promoting a health bacterial microenvironment in the gut.
Leaky gut can be inferred when a person has delayed allergies to many foods or it can be diagnosed with a specific test that measures permeability.