Intestinal Flora100,000 billion…
That is the number of bacteria that live within the human body. These so-called endogenous bacteria have a significant impact on health, playing a major role in digestion, metabolism and modulation of the immune response. At birth, newborns come into the world with a sterile gastrointestinal system. Within a few days, a life-sustaining microbiota then develops in their digestive tract thanks to their mother’s milk and the new environment that surrounds them.
The endogenous microbiota serves two principal functions :
- It promotes the digestive process by degrading indigestible sugars into lactic acid and volatile fatty acids. It also participates in intestinal motility, the secretion and absorption of nutrients, and it enables the synthesis of vitamins B and K.
- The barrier effect : The microbiota has a protective capacity against pathogenic agents by inhibiting the proliferation and intestinal adhesion of undesirable bacteria, by producing antimicrobial substances, and by stimulating immune defenses.
The intestinal microbiota constitutes a very large part of the bacterial population contained in the human organism and forms an extremely complex ecosystem. In a healthy subject, at least 17 families of bacteria can be found, in addition to more than 1,000 species and an indefinite number of sub-species.
The onset of an illness, the ingestion of medications, and a lifestyle that does not respect the natural biological rhythm can all put the microbiota balance at risk. Under these circumstances, endogenous bacteria cannot fully accomplish their regulatory role. Moreover, the balance between the different bacterial populations becomes disturbed, and their health and wellness benefits are compromised.