While not yet embraced by mainstream medicine, leaky gut syndrome (aka intestinal permeability syndrome) is taken seriously by the holistic health field and is seen as something that causes further deterioration in health and promotes other forms of disease and disorder. Please note there is a topic on this website discussing leaky gut syndrome and its treatment in the specific conditions forum: http://healthunfolded.com/community/threads/leaky-gut-syndrome-intestinal-permeability-syndrome.28/ Todd Caldecott has written up the best concise summary of the subject. You can read his work on the subject on his website: http://toddcaldecott.com/conditions/autoimmune-disease/ A brief quote from Todd's article: The modern theory of Intestinal Permeability is that some agent or combination of agents initiates an inflammatory response in the digestive tract. Persistent GI inflammation eventually disrupts the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut, and tiny perforations allow for molecules larger than usual to pass across this barrier, including molecules from dietary protein and fats, bacteria, parasites and fungi. In response to this infiltration, an immune response is initiated... The most common cause of leaky guy syndrome and GI inflammation is the modern diet (which is to say an inappropriate diet).