Intestinal tract is the boundary that prevents harmful molecules from invading into the mucosal tissue, followed by systemic circulation. Intestinal permeability is an index for intestinal barrier integrity. Intestinal permeability has been shown to increase in various diseases—not only intestinal inflammatory diseases, but also systemic diseases, including diabetes, chronic kidney dysfunction, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Chronic increase of intestinal permeability is termed ‘leaky gut’ which is observed in the patients and animal models of these diseases. This state often correlates with the disease state. In addition, recent studies have revealed that gut microbiota affects intestinal and systemic heath conditions via their metabolite, especially short-chain fatty acids and lipopolysaccharides, which can trigger leaky gut. The etiology of leaky gut is still unknown; however, recent studies have uncovered exogenous factors that can modulate intestinal permeability. Nutrients are closely related to intestinal health and permeability that are actively investigated as a hot topic of scientific research. Here, we will review the effect of nutrients on intestinal permeability and microbiome for a better understanding of leaky gut and a possible mechanism of increase in intestinal permeability.
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