Gut bacterial flora: what it is

Gut bacterial flora: what it is

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Intestinal bacterial flora, because it is mostly found in those approximately 200 square meters of intestine that we humans have, even if it doesn't seem like it. This organ is in effect "colonized" by an abundant population of microorganisms that it includes 400 and more bacterial species, those that form the intestinal bacterial flora. The anaerobic ones are placed in the colon, also called bifidobacteria, while the aerobic, the lactobacilli, prefer the small intestine. Even if in normal conditions of equilibrium, they have no pathological consequences, in our intestine we also find fungi, clostridia and viruses.

Gut bacterial flora: what it is

Given its composition, let's find out what this "troop" said Intestinal bacterial flora. His first task is to ensure the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, he can do it because the bacteria ferment the undigested material, polysaccharides of plant origin above all, and produce short-chain fatty acids which for the epithelial cells of the intestine are a source of energy. These acids are acetic, propionic and butyric acid, the latter also protects against colon cancer.

Thanks to the antimicrobial substances it produces, the Intestinal bacterial flora it ensures that pathogens do not adhere to the intestinal epithelium, and also manages the composition of the intestinal immune system as regards its pro-inflammatory action.

There are other processes that take place in our body where the Intestinal bacterial flora is not the absolute protagonist but gives a hand, for example in digestion, in the prevention of colitis, diarrhea, constipation, in the production of some vitamins such as B12 and K, and amino acids including arginine, glutamine and cysteine. It also intervenes in the metabolism of bile acids and bilirubin.

Altered intestinal bacterial flora: symptoms

We talk about Intestinal bacterial flora altered when normal conditions have been disturbed, those in which it is in perfect symbiosis with the body and both benefit from living together. Man "feeds" the bacteria with the undigested material and they reciprocate by performing the functions listed above.

This balance is defined eubiosis, if it breaks you can speak of dysbiosis, condition in which the Gut bacterial flora is altered. At this point, there is an overproliferation of pathogens in the intestine that can invade other areas of the body causing vaginal, respiratory and even dental infections.

If no action is taken to rebalance the situation, they can also appear intestinal pathologies such as diverticula, Crohn's disease and tumors of the digestive system up to compromising intestinal permeability. At this point the intestinal bacterial flora is so altered that it also gives rise toallergies and autoimmune diseases, always bearing in mind that immediately, in case of dysbiosis, the liver and pancreas begin to absorb toxic substances, no longer able to discard them.

Altered intestinal bacterial flora: what to eat

To correct one's diet, when we realize that the Intestinal bacterial flora is altered, we must make it as varied as possible, enriching it with fibers. The consumption of refined foods or foods full of dyes, solvents, hormones, pesticides, should be limited to a minimum) negatively affect the stability of the intestinal microfloraFurthermore, it is also necessary to fix the “style” of our meals, making sure they are not too hasty.

Let's take the time to chew well and we do regular physical activity, our intestinal bacterial flora will also benefit.

Gut bacterial flora: natural remedies

Once we have verified that our diet is correct, and also our lifestyle habits, we can take probiotics to fix our intestinal bacterial flora. These are vital microorganisms that improve it, or keep it in good condition.

They are not lactic ferments, because they are alive and biochemically active; they resist gastric acid and bile managing to retain their "vitality" even in the digestive tract. Not all yogurts contain probiotics, indeed, almost none. We can also help with the prebiotics that promote the growth of beneficial bacterial species acting directly in the colon.

We find prebiotics in chicory, artichoke, leeks, asparagus, garlic, soy and oats, or in some medications.

Gut bacterial flora: recipes

A rich vegetable minestrone it is perfect for the intestinal flora when accompanied by probiotics. To the basic recipe, with rice, carrots, courgettes, white onion, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, pumpkin and peas, we can add vegetables that contain prebiotics such as leeks, asparagus and, if you like, a touch of garlic. Those who prefer can substitute rice with wholemeal pasta.

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Video: How to optimize your gut and brain bacteria. Dave Asprey. Big Think (May 2022).