Diet, nutrition and intestinal permeability: A mini review

Karina Rahmadia Ekawidyani, Murdani Abdullah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Intestinal permeability (IP) is known to contribute to the immune system activation and inflammation; thus, it is proposed to have a role in the pathogenesis and exacerbation of many chronic diseases. Several studies have indicated that diet and nutritional status are risk factors for increased IP. In this mini review, we discussed the recent evidence on the association of diet, nutritional status, and intestinal permeability assessed by zonulin concentrations in serum and feces. METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Literature searching was conducted in Pubmed, ProQuest and Google Scholar using the keywords "diet quality", "intestinal permeability", "nutritional status", and "zonulin" combined with Boolean operators "AND" and "OR". RESULTS: Some studies indicated that intake of proper nutrition and good diet such as low total calorie intake, high intakes of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and polyphenol-rich diet have significant impact on improvement of intestinal permeability marked by lower zonulin concentrations. Higher zonulin concentrations are found in those with overweight and obesity indicating that these population have increased IP. Most studies were conducted in adults and there are limited studies in children and adolescents. In addition, no studies have assessed diet quality to obtain a comprehensive picture on the complexities of diet in the population in relation to intestinal permeability. CONCLUSIONS: Diet and nutritional status are linked to zonulin concentrations, indicating a role in intestinal permeability. Further research should be conducted to investigate the relationship between diet quality, as measured by appropriate diet quality indices, and intestinal permeability in children, adolescents, and adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalAsia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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