WHAT IS INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA?
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The microbiota or intestinal flora is a group of microorganisms that live in our gut, an ecosystem formed by different species that participate in vital functions in an area of great biodiversity. It’s a broad community that provides multiple health benefits, such as helping us avoid gastrointestinal infections or making essential vitamins, therefore it is essential that we maintain its equilibrium and condition to assure optimal health. The intestinal microbiota is acquired during the neonatal period and remains more or less stable for life, although depending on diverse factors, like use of antibiotics, diet, age or rhythm of life, it can change over time. The addition of certain bacteria (probiotics) allows the maintenance of a healthy microbiota.
Its importance is owed to the main functions it exerts in our body:
Nutrition and metabolism, which includes energy recovery, vitamin production and favorable effects on the absorption of calcium and iron in the colon.
Protection, preventing the invasion of infectious agents or overgrowth of pathogenic microorganisms (antimicrobial function).
Production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), promoting colon health, iron absorption, calcium and other minerals and regulation of the intestinal tract.
Elimination of toxins, helping to neutralize toxic by-products from the digestion and reducing harmful substances.
Taking care of your digestion can improve your mood
Michael Gershon, researcher at the University of Columbia in the United States is considered to be one of the fathers of Neurogastroenterology. He is the author of “The Second Brain” which explains how the brain bowel interferes with emotional well-being by the messages that it sends to the brain. From the digestion we can influence our emotions, because there is an ongoing relationship in the exchange of information between the two brains. The bacterial components of our intestinal flora conditions even our personality, it is therefore very important for our digestive health.
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