Adding up to three daily portions of apple, cocoa, dark chocolate, green tea, cranberries, oranges or pomegranate juice helps in improving intestinal permeability, a recent study shows. It can also fix leaky gut issues. These foods are rich in polyphenol, which helps in improving gut health.
The study was conducted by Cristina Andres-Lacueva, Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and head of the Research Group of Biomarkers and Nutritional Metabolomics of Food of the University of Barcelona and the Biomedical Research Center of Fragility and Healthy Ageing, also part of the Catalan Food Innovation Network (XIA). The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Clinical Nutrition’.
The results have shown that including up to three daily portions of apple, cocoa, dark chocolate, green tea, cranberries, oranges or pomegranate juice, improves intestinal permeability when making specific changes in the intestinal microbiota. According to researchers Gregorio Peron and Tomas Merono (UB-INSA and CIBERFES), “We studied the existing relationship between the metabolism of the elements of the diet, microbiota and intestinal permeability by analysing the changes that are caused by a polyphenol-rich diet in the microbiota of the participants in our study and testing the resulting improvement of their gut barrier.”
The analysis of plasmatic and faecal samples showed an increase of the serum metabolome related to the polyphenol intake. “For instance, theobromine and methylxanthine derived from cocoa and green tea are positively correlated with butyrate-producing bacteria (a fatty acid in the intestinal flora), and inversely with zonulin, a protein related to the intestinal permeability”, noted the authors. According to Professor Cristina Andres-Lacueva, “The study of the relationship between intestinal permeability, microbiota composition and food metabolism has to be the base for establishing customized diets for every life stage, especially for the elderly.”