*the podcast will be changing to every other week during the COVID-19 outbreak due to my interviewees busy schedules*

The gut barrier plays a key role in our immune system and chronic inflammation. Desiree Nielsen, RD and I discuss how important nutrition and lifestyle factors influence our gut barrier and how elimination diets may be bad for our health.

Nutrition Pearls for Gut Barrier Function

  • The gut barrier plays a key role in ensuring a functioning immune system
  • Our gut barrier is influenced by our gut microbiota. If we work to make nutrition and lifestyle decisions that positively influence the gut microbiota, our gut barrier function can help to be maintained
  • Diet quality (adequate fibre, reducing excess saturated fat) influences gut barrier integrity, in addition to stress, sleep, exercise, smoking, and alcohol
  • Many times patients seek restrictive diets to manage digestive symptoms. However, these restrictive diets my often pose more harm than good by way of negatively influencing the gut microbiota & gut barrier function
  • There is no diagnostic test available for ‘leaky gut’ or to measure the gut barrier function so right now it’s about getting back to basics

Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian, author and host based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She runs a nutrition consulting practice with a focus on inflammation, digestion and plant-centred diets. Desiree is the host of the internationally syndicated cooking show The Urban Vegetarian and the author of a book on anti-inflammatory nutrition called Un-Junk Your Diet: How to shop, cook and eat to fight inflammation and feel better, forever and her new cookbook, Eat More Plants: 100 Anti-inflammatory Plant-centred Recipes for Vibrant Living is a #1 National Bestseller. She co-founded the world’s first evidence-based self-management app for celiac disease, My Healthy Gut and is currently working on her third book, a culinary nutrition cookbook focused on gut health.

Desiree and I discuss:

  • What is inflammation?
  • Why is inflammation a problem?
  • What can too much inflammation do to the body?
  • What are causes of inflammation? And how is digestive health involved?
  • What is the current evidence for diet in playing a role inflammation?
  • How does our gut microbiota play a role?
  • What is the gut barrier?
  • What is leaky gut?
  • What happens when it isn’t working properly?
  • How does this impact our immune system and immune function?
  • What should people focus on doing to help reduce their risk of inflammation

You can learn more about Desiree on her website or follow her on Instagram @DesireeNielsenRD

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