Increasing numbers of people are reporting a fairly common, but little-known problem which may contribute to many health problems. It is called increased intestinal permeability or more commonly known as leaky gut. 50% of the Australian population (also indicative of the world's population) have reported to experience debilitating gut symptoms such as bloating, feeling gassy, cramping, fatigue, food sensitivities, moodiness, irritability, sleeplessness and skin problems which may be a result of leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the cells in the gut become damaged. In a healthy gut, the walls are lined with cells, which are connected together to create a barrier between the contents of the gut and the rest of the body. If cells in the lining become damaged, the connections between the cells become ‘looser’ allowing toxins, to pass through. Unresolved gut-related symptoms comprise a major portion of issues presented to medical, complementary and clinical practice and are associated with significant absenteeism from work, impaired health-related quality of life, and increased medical costs.
Currently, leaky gut can be diagnosed with a urine test, however it is underutilised because it is a costly and is a long and cumbersome procedure. We have developed a simpler, faster and cheaper test which can be adopted by clinics or diagnostic labs in any hospital or health centre. We will also provide personalised evidence-based dietary plans to restore and maintain gut health, prevent downstream disease, improve wellbeing and enhance quality of life.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The leaky gut test is traditionally used as a research tool, but is also publicly available. While there is a diagnostic test for leaky gut provided by pathology labs, it is expensive and cumbersome. This test is a 6-hour urine test and is performed at home. For this reason, it has poor uptake. We have developed a timed blood test which can be done at a clinic in 90 minutes. Its cost to delivery is also lower. Our diagnostic test will be paired with a subsequent simple dietary plan to repair leaky gut, improve health and enhance quality of life.
In summary, we will provide the following solution;
1. An easy and reliable test for diagnosing leaky gut. Leaky gut IIP is diagnosed by consuming a small drink, followed by a single blood test 90 minutes later which will be assessed for compromised gut barrier health.
2. A simple personalised dietary plan for restoring and maintaining the gut barrier for better gut health. Dietary plans include consuming gut health promoting foods such as dietary fibre (soluble and insoluble fibres), resistant starch, prebiotics, probiotics and zinc; and limiting gut irritant foods such as alcohol, caffeine, sugary beverages, foods high in sugar, salt and fat, and processed food containing food colouring and additives.
We will be extending its application of the point-of-care device for gut health diagnostics which the assessment of leaky gut can be done instantaneously. The global point-of-care diagnostics market is expected to reach USD 36.96 Billion by 2021, at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% from 2016 to 2021.
Another potential application of our technology is in the livestock industry such as cattle or poultry, where gut health of these animals is important, where one animal at risk of bad gut health could potentially demolish the whole herd of animals and losing millions of dollars. Our technology can identify those at risk aniamals of bad gut health and remove them from the herd early and therefore could saving millions of dollars.
The potential positive impact for the population of Australians and the world is to provide a cheap and fast diagnostic test which allows early commencement of treatment to resolve the gut discomfort which could improve health, wellbeing and quality of life for all people suffering from unresolved debilitating gut symptoms.