Gut Barrier Effect

Health of intestinal mucosa and the equilibrium of the microflora are essential for the immune response of the GI tract to both ingested and systemic invaders. The colonic microflora plays a key role in maintaining mucosal integrity and the deterrence of pathogenic/toxic bacteria. To maintain the bacterial equilibrium the indigenous bacteria appear to compete with pathogenic bacteria predominantly in the colon for enterocyte receptors, as well as for luminal nutrient. Additionally, the production of short-chain fatty acids from bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates and the transformation of proteins to sterols and bile acids destroy potential mutagens of ingested foods. Dietary antigens are prevented through this system of barrier protection. Alterations will produce an immunoinflammatory response; ultimately entrance of antigens into the body can occur, inducing a systemic allergic response.

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