What Are the Functions of Intestinal Flora?
Intestinal floras are microorganisms residing in the intestinal tract that assist in the function of the digestive system and help to maintain the human body in a state of health. Diet is known to affect the type and number of the estimated 300 to 1000 different species of intestinal flora (see Resources).
Intestinal floras aid in the digestion of food by assisting in the absorption of vital nutrients required for energy and survival; they also destroy ingested toxins that can be harmful or fatal to the human body.
Vitamins such as vitamin K, niacin, B6, B12 and folic acid are synthesized in the digestive tract by intestinal flora.
When we become ill, probiotic bacteria (helpful intestinal flora) attack harmful bacteria that disrupt the body’s microbial balance. This vital function helps to restore the balance and to ward off illness and disease.
Maintaining Immune System
From birth, intestinal floras begin to develop in the digestive system and help to maintain our immunity by their ability to identify and destroy harmful bacteria without harming the helpful bacteria.
Diseases Linked to Intestinal Flora
Disruption in the normal activity and proliferation of intestinal flora is being studied for a possible link to diseases such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, arthritis, and even obesity (see Resources).