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The Intestinal Microbiota

Our intestines are home to a diverse community of bacteria, fungi, yeast and even viruses. The complex interrelation among these communities, our immunity, and our bodily functions is highly sophisticated and research has shown that their effect on our health is unquestionable.

Just to get a better understanding of the immense size of these communities, we must take a look at the amount of intestinal microbiota present in the various digestive organs of a typical adult [1]:

(CFU = Colony forming units)

  • Esophagus – 10,000 to 1,000,000 CFU/ml
  • Stomach – 10,000 CFU/ml
  • Duodenum – 1,000 to 10,000 CFU/ml
  • Jejunum – 1,000 to 100,000 CFU/ml
  • Colon – 10,000,000,000 to 100,000,000,000 CFU/ml
  • Ileum – 10,000,000 to 100,000,000 CFU/ml

From these numbers, it becomes quite clear that the complexity of the intestinal tract may make it quite difficult to comprehend or draw any conclusion from. However, recent advances in DNA sequencing have finally allowed researchers to gain some insights into this complexity.

Section Outline

This section provides a close look at the significance of the intestinal microbiota, what influences it’s composition and potential issues which can arise. The content is broken down into the following sub-sections:

  1. Importance in Health and Disease
    Introduces the relationship between the intestinal microbiota and health
  2. Factors Affecting the Microbiota
    Reviews of the some most prominent factors affecting the microbiota
  3. Dysbiosis and Gut Permeability
    Highlights the importance of the gut barrier and potential issues which can arise


  1. Susan E Power, Paul W O'Toole, Catherine Stanton, R Paul Ross, Gerald F Fitzgerald "Intestinal microbiota, diet and health." The British journal of nutrition 111.3 (2014): 387-402. PubMed
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About Michael Anders

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

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