Tag Archives: tight junctions

Transport across the glycocalyx; a link

More information and illustrations about the structure and function of the glycocalyx and tight junctions are available online from an academic textbook called, Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Ed.:

Interestingly, cells grown in a solution with very low concentrations of calcium ions formed a monolayer with a lack of tight junctions between the cells but when calcium ions were added to the solution, tight junctions formed between the cells within an hour.

–This could suggest that calcium ions are necessary for cell monolayers to be able to form the tight junctions — or it might suggest that tight junctions are formed between cells in the presence of calcium in order to prevent the calcium ions from passing between the cells. Or in other words: Does the presence of calcium ions allow the tight junctions to form? Or do the tight junctions form because there are calcium ions present that need to be prevented from passing through the cell monolayer?

More research has been done and it suggests that the intracellular calcium ion level is also important for maintaining strong tight junctions. Both intra- and extrcellular levels of calcium are kept under careful control during normal health. Tight junctions also will become disfunctional if intracellular calcium levels become elevated.

Magnesium ions inside of the cell are also important for controlling intracellular levels of calcium. Nutrients usually have to work together as a team.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Food Additives, leaky intestinal membranes, and autoimmune disease

The newspapers that I set up using the paper.li website have been very informative. I added links to the papers that I created and to a few other newspapers hosted by the service on a page: [Virtual Stream Media]

One of the articles from today’s issue of The #Autoimmune Daily discusses seven types of commonly used food additives that may cause leaky intestinal membranes. Leaky bowel syndrome was a term that developed in association with food allergies but the problem may also be involved with the increased rates of autoimmune disease that have been occurring in the last twenty to thirty years. Intestinal membranes are thin to allow nutrient absorption but ideally would block allergens and other larger infectious material from being able to pass through to the more sterile environment of the blood stream.

Food additives may sound like minor trace chemicals but the list includes some very common additives and some newer creations: “glucose (a molecule of table sugar/sucrose, is made up of one molecule of glucose and one of fructose), salt, emulsifiers, organic solvents, gluten, microbial transglutaminase, and nanoparticles.”

During digestion the emulsifiers and organic solvents that are used in many foods and beverages and in infant formula may also be emulsifying and dissolving the tight junctions between the cells that make up our intestinal membranes.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./