Intestinal Permeability Test (IPT)
This test evaluates the correct functioning of the intestinal barrier. If intestinal permeability is high, the integrity of the intestinal mucosa is being lost, and vice versa.
Proper integrity of the intestinal mucosa is essential to maintain an adequate state of health. When that integrity is altered, the intestinal barrier function is lost and some components present in food or the environment can pass into the bloodstream and trigger immune and inflammatory processes, which are at the root of many diseases.
There are several non-invasive methods for measuring intestinal permeability. One of them is to measure the passage of dietary proteins into the blood through the intestine. If these proteins are elevated in the blood, then the intestinal permeability is increased.
Two proteins are usually used: egg albumin and milk beta globulin. Generally, when these proteins pass into the blood, our body produces antibodies against them.
Thus, the degree of integrity of the intestinal mucosa can be measured by studying the intestinal permeability, and this can be known by determining the presence in blood of the beta-lactoglobulin protein or antibodies generated against it. An enzyme immunoassay technique, also known as ELISA, is used for this purpose. This is a simple, routine process that can detect, in small amounts of blood, the presence of antibodies or proteins at very low concentrations.