From Mizonews.Net | April 20, 2015 – Featured Contributor: By Maneka Gandhi, Parliametarian & Animal Rights Activist
The contents of your intestines are vital for your health .Within the intestine live trillions of organisms known as the gut microflora. Their many functions include: completing the digestion of foods through fermentation, protecting against disease causing bacteria, synthesizing water soluble vitamins, and stimulating development of the immune system. The health of the flora changes according to your diet.
Approximately 28 feet of digestive tube, known as the gut and intestine, processes food into life giving nutrients. The first 23 feet, which include the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine mechanically divide the foods we eat, mix them with digestive enzymes, and then break them into microscopic particles ready for absorption into the body. The last 5 feet, known as the large intestine, or colon, works as a microbial factory. More than 400 different species of bacteria have been identified living in a single person. Within the colon their concentration reaches a trillion per millilitre of faeces. In a typical meat/milk/white flour eater one-third of the dry weight of the faeces is bacteria. For hose that eat healthily this concentration is less due to fibre in the diet.
The remnants of the foods we eat become the foods for the microflora. Different bacteria live better on different sources of nutrients. Gut microbial profiles are increasingly of interest to doctors and researchers as we begin to understand how they are linked to specific diseases. Scientists have already reported how microbial populations in the gut are different between obese and lean people and that when obese people lost weight their microflora reverted back to those found in lean people.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of “friendly” bacteria already present in your intestine. They are the preferred foods of “friendly” bacteria. The most effective prebiotics identified are small carbohydrates that are found naturally in artichokes, onions, chicory, garlic, leeks, and to a lesser extent, cereals. Many “friendly” bacteria secrete antibiotic substances that are active against harmful organisms.
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