The term leaky gut is widely used by the public and has many meanings for them. In medicine, however, it means just one thing. The bowel wall, more specifically, the colon becomes inflammed and the cells that line the colon become detached one from the other. This allows the gut to become permeable or, in lay terms, a leaky gut. We now know rather exacly how this occurs. The gut is filled with a huge number of bacteria well over 100 trillion. When this bacterial mix is of the wrong type, the gut wall becomes inflammed. This condition is called dysbiosis of the colon bacteria.
The following article is a general review of this subject.
The medical term for the condition where toxins move across the colon and into the blood stream is called endotoxemia. It means toxins in the blood. For the non-medical person this is all that you need to know. Dysbiosis of the colon bacteria leads to colon wall inflammation which leads to endotoxemia. Bad things happen after that. The folloowing article gives a good overview of these facts.
Endotoxemia, dysbiosis and a leaky gut are an important part of the obesity and type 2 diabetes problem. There is now a great deal in the medical literature that ties these all together. The following is just on of many such articles.
Certain types of liver disease such as a fatty liver and inflammation have now been clearly linked to a leaky gut. Under this condition, certain parts of the bacteria leak through the bowel wall and damage the liver and other organs. It is just not the parts of the bacteria that do this. While in the colon many bad bacteria make certain chemicals and substances that get into the blood through a leaky, permeable gut. These are true toxins in every sense of the word. You don’t want them. This 2014 article in the very professional journal Gastroenterology clearly spells this out.