Functions of Gut Bacteria

Forums Gastroenterology Functions of Gut Bacteria

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    Doctatoc Advisor
    Gut bacteria functions are varied and numerous. It helps in fermentation of non-digestible food residues such as starch and cellulose with provision of energy both to the host as well as the intestinal flora; Synthesis of vitamin K which is essential for production of clotting factors; gut bacteria also synthesize biotin and folate which are essential nutrients; Aids absorption of dietary calcium, iron and magnesium; Enhances immunity – Lactobacilli in gut reduce the pH and prevent the growth of ammonia producing bacteria and additionally favor ammonia excretion. Both these effects reduce the blood levels of ammonia which is toxic to the body; Prevents disease by competing with disease causing bacteria for nutrients and attachment to epithelial cells, thereby preventing entry of harmful bacteria into the intestinal cells; Good gut bacteria have been shown to promote oral health and reduce incidence of bad breath, dental caries, and throat infections; Production of acid by gut bacteria such as lactobacillus keeps the pH acidic and prevents yeast infection as well as E coli infection; Lactobacilli also reduce the risk of colon cancer by decreasing the synthesis of cancer causing chemicals by harmful gut bacteria. An imbalance or sudden change in the composition of the microbiota known as dysbiosis manifests a variety of health concerns.
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