EnduraQ has a number of amazing benefits, but one benefit we don't often emphasize is its ability to improve digestion and gut health. Quercetin has been shown to enhance the gut barrier function by its role in assembly of tight junction proteins. These tight junctions regulate our intestinal permeability, allowing us to draw in nutrients and keeping everything else out.
EnduraQ contains enzymatically modified isoquercitrin, or EMIQ, which is a superior, highly bioavailable form of the better-known flavonoid quercetin. The many benefits of quercetin have been well studied, and its safety is well documented. However, science has always known the human body does not absorb quercetin efficiently or effectively. That’s where EnduraQ comes in. EnduraQ is 17.5x more bioavailable than quercetin, meaning it can be easily absorbed by the human body. As a result, EnduraQ is a more effective way to achieve the benefits of quercetin that we otherwise would not experience.
What is Leaky Gut (and why is it so bad)?
Digestive health is a hot topic these days- even Chris Kresser published a compelling article on this exact topic. Problems in the gut not only play a large part in digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome or reflux, but the gut has an effect on practically every part of our body. Imbalances in the gut can create rashes, exacerbate joint pain and even cause depression.
One of the most pressing concerns regarding the gut is something called intestinal permeability, often referred to as “leaky gut”. The barrier of the gut plays an important role in maintaining our health by protecting us from the many things we’re exposed to from the outside world. If you think about it, our digestive tract is technically not “in” our body, it’s outside. Think about your body as a donut and the digestive tract is the donut hole – technically, not “in” the donut. It’s easy to see now that our gut lining is exposed to everything we swallow – food particles, bacteria, dust, etc – and has to decide what to do with all that material! Think of the gut barrier as the decision-maker: some particles are allowed to pass through, while others are told to move along.
When functioning normally, the gut barrier keeps us healthy by keeping out potentially hazardous materials and letting nutrients and water in. But when it starts to become more permeable (or “leaky”) than normal, we run into problems.
Mast Cells = Leaky Gut?
Researchers have discovered that mast cells play a part in developing leaky gut. While it’s been known for a long time that severe physical stress (i.e. trauma or surgery) causes intestinal permeability, newer research has shown that chronic stress also has this effect. Interestingly, researchers determined that it is the mast cells in the intestine that are responsible for the increase intestinal permeability in these stressful situations. You may have heard of mast cells before as the cells responsible for allergy symptoms like congestion and runny nose. This is because when mast cells “degranulate” or become “unstabilized”, they release histamine, the chemical that causes allergy symptoms. But you have mast cells in your gut, too and when they “degranulate” or become “unstabilized” there, they cause leaky gut.
Quercetin for Leaky Gut
Quercetin is one of the most abundant flavonoids present in our food supply, found in high amounts in onions, kale and apples. It is well-known for many things, including its anti-allergy properties, anti-cancer effects, and as an antioxidant. But did you know that it can heal leaky gut, too?
Given that intestinal permeability is caused (at least in part) by unstabilized mast cells in the gut, it makes sense that quercetin would have this effect. This is because quercetin stabilizes mast cells and prevents the release of histamine and other chemicals from these cells. When researchers breed rats to have no mast cells in the gut (thus they are unable to have unstabilized mast cells that release histamine), they no longer develop intestinal permeability.
Quercetin has also been shown to enhance gut barrier function by having a “sealing” effect due to its role in the assembly and expression of tight junction proteins. Tight junctions regulate our intestinal permeability by connecting intestinal cells, thus only allowing the nutrients that we need in and keeping everything else out.
In a study where rats were given DSS (a substance that causes colon damage), treatment with quercetin restored barrier integrity and partially healed colitis. Rats given another substance to cause colitis and treated with quercetin preserved normal fluid absorption (which is altered by colitis), counteracted glutathione (our “master antioxidant”) depletion and ameliorated colonic damage at two days.As mentioned above, EnduraQ is absorbed by the human body 17.5x better than quercetin. As a result, EnduraQ is a more effective way to achieve the digestive benefits of quercetin.