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Intestinal Microbiota

The intestinal microbiota are the microorganisms such as beneficial (commensal) and bad (pathogenic) bacteria living in your intestines.

Benefits of Commensal Bacteria

  • Transformation of bile salts
  • Aid in the fermentation of polysaccharides into short chain fatty acids so they can be absorbed in the colon for energy.
  • Stop colonization of the intestines by pathogenic bacteria
  • Help maintain normal gastrointestinal and immune fuction
  • Production of nutrients such as Vitamin K, Folate, and Vitamin B9 (Biotin)
  • Activate or metabolize certain medications such as Sulfasalazine
  • Enhance the epithelium (the lining of the intestines)
  • Help extract calories from ingested food and store it in adipose tissue (fat) for later use.

Problems With Pathogenic Bacteria

  • Impair the function and repair of the epithelium
  • Impair the ability to absorb certain nutrients such as vitamin B12
  • Cause inflammation of the intestines
  • Cause fat, carbohydrate, and protein malabsorption by breaking apart bile acids
  • Reduction in enzyme activity

References


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