BPA Linked to Leaky Gut

May 24, 2010
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

TinLevels of this common chemical are almost 5 times higher than previously thought.

Consumers are routinely ingesting bisphenol A (BPA) by eating processed foods in cans and plastic. “It takes as little as one serving of canned foods to expose a person to levels of BPA that have been shown to cause harm in laboratory animals,” says Bobbi Chase Wilding, organizing director of Clean New York.

The latest lab research on BPA significantly links this chemical to a painful condition called “leaky gut.” Exposing both human intestinal cells and living rats to dosages of this chemical—10 times lower than what most governments consider safe—shows that BPA damages the intestines, allowing toxins and pathogens to enter the body more easily.

French scientists find that the gut “shows a very high sensitivity” to BPA, increasing intestinal inflammation. The result is abdominal discomfort, chronic muscle pain, depressed immune function, and poor nutrient absorption.

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

Don’t set a place for BPA at your dinner table! Over 130 studies have linked this hormone-mimicking chemical to an enormous range of health problems from birth and reproductive defects to cancers, diabetes, and obesity.

One can of Del Monte French Style Green Beans contains 1,140 parts per billion BPA, finds the National Workgroup for Safe Markets, which recently tested levels in common canned foods. Not only did 92% of the canned foods tested contain BPA, but the average level was also 77 parts per billion—almost 5 times higher than what was found in earlier FDA tests.

By contrast, Eden Foods has only traces of this chemical in their canned foods, and Muir Glen is planning to remove BPA from its canned tomatoes. Whenever possible, choose glass jars instead of cans—and eat as much fresh and frozen food as possible.

Heal Your Gut
Damage to the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract can result in acne, asthma, brain fog, celiac disease, chronic fatigue, eczema, intestinal infections, liver dysfunction, pancreatic insufficiency, and ulcerative colitis. It’s critical that you repair any damage to the mucosal lining of the GI tract.

An amino acid, L-glutamine plays a vital role in healing this kind of damage. Without glutamine, the villi (the parts of the small intestine that allow nutrients in) become too porous, and molecules that would normally be too large to breach the intestinal wall start to enter the bloodstream where they can cause allergies and all sorts of other problems.

Glutamine, however, supports the intestinal lining, so that it can allow nutrients in, while barring allergens, pathogens, and toxins. It even supports the growth of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) that help defend against infectious bacteria.

As an added feel-better bonus, L-glutamine feeds the immune cells that live in the intestinal tract—where 75% of your body’s immune system resides! Polish scientists have found that this versatile amino acid revives lymphocytes in people with damaged GI tracts—and improves their absorption of protein and other nutrients.

Protect Your Gut
I like the pure free-form crystalline amino acid powder which is the easiest to assimilate. One level scoop or teaspoonful provides about 3 grams or 3000 mg of L-glutamine. I recommend at least one scoop or teaspoonful in 8 ounces of cold water at least  1 – 3 times per day. L-Glutamine is best taken before meals ( at least  20 minutes) or between meals.  Make sure it is mixed in cold or room temperature water.  Heat as well as stomach acids can deactivate the healing activity of L-glutamine.


Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Chris Ruffino

    My mom just had emergency surgery on her perferated colan. She had diverticulitus and lifeted something and caused the perferation. She is temporarily using a colostomy and will have her colan reconnected in July. Do you think this product would be good for gher at this stage?

  2. Annie

    There’s an interesting article in the current issue of The New Yorker that shows how very difficult it is to know which chemicals have long-term toxic effects. But BPA sure sounds like one to worry about!

  3. Accidental Tourist

    Everything comes in plastic these days – yogurt, milk, and vitamins! Even l-glutamine! What’s a person supposed to do?

    How do you know if you have leaky gut?

  4. Joel

    Those who suffer from Leaky Gut can have a quite a few chronic and acute conditions; systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), inflammatory bowel disease, type-1 diabetes, allergies, asthma, compromised immunity.

    I highly recommend Dr. ALG’s “The Gut Flush Plan”, it’s very good book on fixing GI disorders and rebuilding your gut.

  5. Raw Food Diet Food

    I have never heard of leaky gut until i have read this. Doesn’t sound too fun.



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