The intestinal tracts are the largest micro-ecological system in human body. You may think that the presence of gut bacteria there is bad for your health. On the contrary, intestinal bacteria can benefit your health when the good ones outnumber the bad or they are in balance. So, taking good care of your gut can help you maintain your overall health. And the gut flora health benefits mainly focus on the following aspects.
Digestion and absorption of food nutrients
Human life and health should be supported by the provision of essential nutrients, such as protein, fat, vitamins, carbohydrates, and trace elements. And the absorption and decomposition of these nutrients in the body are closely linked with intestinal flora, which refers to normal gut microbes like Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, etc. These mentioned bacteria living in the digestive system can synthesize a variety of vitamins necessary for human growth and development, such as B vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12), vitamin K, smoke acid, pantothenic acid, etc. And they also use protein residue to synthesize non-essential amino acid, such as aspartic acid, alanine, valine and threonine. In addition, they involve in the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein while promoting the absorption of iron, magnesium, zinc and other mineral elements. As you can see, these nutrients play an important role in your overall health. That’s to say, the lack of them will cause a variety of diseases.
As mentioned above, there are a lot of probiotics in intestines. For example, bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria can block or inhibit bacteria from invading the intestinal mucosa by producing organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and other substances. In addition, gut flora can promote the development and maturation of the immune system function and enhance the body’s immunity.
On the one hand, some bacteria in gut, such as E. coli, Clostridium, Enterococcus, and Bacteroides, can induce nitrite from foods to combine with amine to produce nitrosamine, which has a strong carcinogenic effect. On the other hand, good bacteria in intestines, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, can degrade nitrosamine into nitrite and amine to inhibit the growth of several cancers. In other words, the bacterial community promoting or inhibiting tumor growth mainly depends on which one dominates the gut. When the healthy ecological balance is shifted, the bad one will prevail and then promote cancer cell growths.
Absorption of cholesterol and metabolism of bile acid
In the case of micro-ecological balance, some beneficial colon microflora can reduce the absorption of cholesterol and lower the concentration of endotoxin in the blood. In addition, hydrolase and reductase in bacteria that reside in the colon participate in the metabolism and liver-bowel loop of various endocommensal.
Fermentation of food ingredients
Gut bacteria can regulate your metabolism. For instance, after fermentation colonic flora can be decomposed into CO2, H2, short-chain fatty amines and indole. And short-chain fatty acids can promote the absorption of calcium, magnesium and iron in the colon.
A healthy gut is inseparable from the balancing gut flora. Under normal circumstances, the good gut bugs, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, dominate. In this case, normal stool contains 70-80% moisture, thanks to the benefit of gut flora. That being said, it is important to make the good one prevail. If there is no intestinal flora in the intestinal tract for some reasons, for example eating antibiotics to kill most of them, the stool will become dry and hard due to the lack of the perfect combination of flora and water. Thus, constipation is inevitable.
In a word, gut flora plays an important role in your health and disease. If there is something wrong to your intestinal tracts, it will lead to intestinal flora disorders and then health problems. So, be sure to take good care of your gut and keep the balance of intestinal flora.