The primary function of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract or gut is to keep our food in one place until it is properly digested and the required nutrients extracted. The processes which maintain gut integrity and break down our foods to their basic constituents are numerous and often delicate; affected by many different things such as our genetic makeup, what we eat and the environment inside and outside the body.
Several problems can arise when food is not digested (metabolised) properly and/or allowed to leave the gut in an incompletely digested form. Many conditions are thought to be caused or aggravated as a result of one or both these factors including: food allergy, bowel problems and even conditions that might affect behaviour and mental wellbeing.
Analutos offers a urine test which might indicate problems with one or both elements: gut permeability (often called the leaky gut) and the presence of dietary-derived peptides (potentially indicative of poor digestion of certain foods).
Drawing on our published work in autism spectrum conditions, we look for the presence of two sets of compounds:
IAG (trans-indolyl-3-acryloylglycine): a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is normally the starting point for several important compounds include serotonin (linked to mood) and melatonin (linked to the sleep-wake cycle). One of the more obscure routes for the metabolism of tryptophan is thought to end with the production of IAG. IAG is speculated to be a detoxified endpoint of other compounds whose primary effect might be to disrupt various biological membranes throughout the body. This effect may extend to leaky gut.
Dietary-derived peptides: compounds produced as food proteins are digested into their constituent amino acids. Short chains of these amino acids have various chemical activities depending on what amino acids are included. Analutos looks for the presence of several peptides derived from gluten (the major protein from various cereal crops) and casein (the protein of milk and dairy produce).
Evidence is accumulating on a role for dietary intervention excluding gluten and/or casein as a possible intervention option for some people with an autism spectrum or related developmental condition.
Further information about the theory behind this test can be found at the following weblink:
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