Intestinal Flora

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Intestinal Flora


microorganisms inhabiting the intestine of healthy animals and man, generally without harm to the host.

The presence of microbes in the intestine is a symbiotic relationship that developed during the course of evolution. Microbes start to colonize the intestine within hours of the birth of the host, entering primarily with the food. The intestinal flora changes until the host reaches adulthood, when the flora becomes more or less stable. This normal intestinal flora consists of two groups of microorganisms: (1) commensal forms and saprophytes and (2) potentially pathogenic forms.

There are comparatively few microbes in the upper section of the small intestine, since most are destroyed in the stomach by the hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice. Aerobic streptococci (enterococci), lactobacilli, and yeasts are dominant in this section. In the lower sections of the intestine there are more gram-negative bacteria (primarily of Bacillus coli ) and spore-forming bacilli. A gram of feces contains 3–5 X 1011 microbes. There are about 1015 microorganisms in the total intestinal content. Disruption of the species composition and microbe ratios of the intestinal flora by, for example, antibiotics is called dysbacteriosis (dysbiosis). The progress of the digestive processes and the formation of a number of enzymes (for example, cellulase, which decomposes cellulose) and other physiologically active substances not synthesized by the host (certain amino acids, nucleo-tides, and vitamins) depend on the composition and condition of the intestinal flora.


References in periodicals archive ?
New research is showing that lactoferrin might be an effective weight-loss agent that also can help maintain a healthy gut flora.
In addition, mercury increases oxidative stress and changes gut flora.
Heavily processed foods, artificial fillers, additives and colors, and the use of agricultural chemicals all destroy good gut bacteria and foster the growth of bad gut flora.
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He gave a lecture jointly with Dr Gwen Falony, who is working at the Raes Lab (KULeuven), where he is presently working as a staff scientist on the Flemish Gut Flora Project.
But the gut flora of the mice treated with fibers changed greatly compared to that of the other phenotypes observed", said Matteo Serino.
Probiotics are viewed as an attempt to restore healthy gut flora.
Principal Investigator and Group Leader at Optimer, described the NIH grant which supports Optimer's research and development efforts by saying, "This Phase II NIH award will allow the examination of the gut flora as a supplementary study to the ongoing OPT-80 trials to confirm narrow spectrum activity and potency of OPT-80 against hypervirulent epidemic strains.
Host digestion is not completely efficient, but changes in the gut flora can raise or lower digestive efficiency," he said.
Director of the University of Chicago MRSA Research Center and Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Molecular Medicine at the University of Chicago, Illinois, commented that "a staphylococcal specific antibiotic should have no off-target effect on gut flora and put no resistance selection pressure on other bacterial species, which may greatly reduce the probability of antibiotic associated adverse events such as C.