Ayurveda

The Story of the Intestinal Micro-Flora

3 1/2 pounds of bacteria micro-flora organisms live in our intestinal tracts! Does it sound unbelievable? Well it is true. Not all these bacteria are “bad”. In fact quite a good number of them are actually highly friendly. They aid in the process of metabolism. Some of these bacteria though pose problems for the body. While unfriendly or harmful bacteria cause infections with wide ranging severity, friendly micro-flora enhance the natural defence mechanism of the body. They also help in healing the gut infections. They also play an active role in reducing the amounts of toxic by-products that are present in the bowl. Bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus are very vital for sound metabolic activity.

Lactobacilli (acidopholus) are found mostly in the upper small intestine. Bifidobacteria are found mainly in the small intestine and large intestine.


How Do the Friendly Micro-flora Aid the Defence Mechanism?

The friendly bacteria attach themselves to the gut wall and thus almost entirely occupy the cell walls of the gut. This leaves very little room for the harmful pathogens to invade the gut region.


How do the Friendly Bacterial Help the Metabolic Activity?

The friendly micro-flora function relentlessly without any rest and thus take care of the metabolic demands of the body. Following are the metabolic activities, that intestinal micro-flora carry out, normally:

  • Aiding the production of vitamins such as B12 and Folic acid.
  • Facilitating the synthesis of short chain fatty acids.
  • Producing enzymes such as lactase.
  • Playing a crucial role in detoxification by removing the harmful by-products of metabolic activity.


What are the Implications of Micro-floral Imbalance ?

Imbalance of micro-flora results in sever repercussions for the body. Lack of proper balance between the useful and the harmful micro-flora is called dysbiosis. Imbalence of gut micro-flora needs proper and timely medical treatment. Otherwise it leads to following disease conditions:

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Allergies
  • Infection
  • Cancer
  • Toxicity
  • Impaired metabolism

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