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Innate immune defences in the intestinal tract

Digestion and intestines

Healthy intestinal flora is vital for all-round wellness

The intestinal flora is made up of a set of micro-organisms that colonise the digestive tract, in particular the intestines.

Our gut usually hosts around 400 bacterial species. Summarising, among these microorganisms we can identify:

  • microorganisms constituting the "good" bacterial flora;
  • microorganisms constituting the "bad" bacterial flora

In a balance condition, even the so-called "bad" microorganisms do not exert any harmful effect.

We can say, therefore, that in "normal" condition, bacterial flora is in a symbiotic relationship with our body.

Symbiosis is a particular coexistence between two organisms, which provide mutual benefits to each other.

However, when, for different reasons, this balance is altered, and the "bad bacteria" take over, we can be exposed to several health problems.

The beneficial functions of bacterial flora

But what exactly does "good" bacterial flora do and why it is so important to our well-being?

Among its most important functions are:

  • production of enzymes that favour digestion;
  • trophic activity, i.d. nourishment: the bacterial flora, in fact, produces short-chain fatty acids, which are essential to our well-being because they are used to provide energy to the intestinal epithelial cells;
  • protective activity: thanks to aforementioned trophic action, the bacterial flora enhances the "barrier effect" of the intestinal mucosa; it is also important for modulating the intestinal immune system;
  • the bacterial flora may also support the maintenance of a normal intestinal transit and counteract any alterations (lazy intestine or, on the contrary, dysentery).

From the above, it is easy to understand why it is so important to avoid alterations in the intestinal bacterial flora.

In particular, to rebalance the bacterial flora after a debilitating period or after a course of antibiotics, it is possible to resort to specific supplements based on lactic cultures.

The intake of probiotic and prebiotic lactic acid bacteria may in fact be a valuable aid to promote the balance of intestinal flora.

Let us recall that, according to the guidelines drawn up by the Ministry of Health, a food supplement, to have positive affects on the intestinal flora, must provide a daily dose of at least 1 billion live cells of a given strain.

Check out all Dr Giorgini supplements containing high amounts of lactic cultures

 


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