Humans are mobile bioreactors meaning trillions of micro-organisms lives on the body as well as inside the body. Both beneficiary as well as harmful micro-organisms live with humans. The digestive system of humans consists of mouth, oesophagus, stomach and Intestine. Intestine is a part of digestive system, which is divided into small and large intestine based on the size of the tube. The process of digestion starts from the mouth continues in small intestine where many enzymes are secreted by the wall of small intestine or from the bile ducts. The digested food absorption begins in small intestine and ends finally in large intestine. Micro-organisms are present in the entire digestive system from mouth to intestine. The beneficiary effects of micro-organisms are seen in the intestine where they help in the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients from the consumed food.
Beneficiary microbes and human have symbiosis relationship where both are benefited from each other. Microbes are provided with protected environment in the body with constant supply of food and controlled temperature, while the humans are benefited from microbes in the process of food digestion and essential vitamins and organic substances. It is well known fact the ruminants have developed the capacity to digest the cellulose only with help of microbes. Though humans are not completely depend on the microbes for their digestion, but are depend on the microbes for the essentially vitamins like Vitamin K and other substance that are secreted by microbes. Apart from providing essential organic substances to host, the beneficiary microbes inhibit the growth of the harmful microbes which causes disease and sick. The beneficiary microbes also activate the immune system, thereby protecting the individual from many diseases. It is therefore essential for the individual to have a good fauna of beneficiary microbes in the digestive system.
The human infant's digestive system is nearly sterile till the time of birth and at birth, some of the microbial fauna of the mother is passed to the baby. These microbial fauna further changes as the age of the child and the kind of food it consumes. The lifestyle of the individual and the consumed food category decides the fate of microbes in the digestive tract. The food with high sugar or fat or low fiber will help the harmful/bad microbes to grow and suppress the beneficiary microbes, while the food with high fiber, less sugar or fat, more greens and vegetables will favor beneficiary microbe's population. Apart from the food habits, other factors like age of the individuals, culture and chiefly the medication consumed to cure diseases will directly influence the microbial fauna. The antibiotics consumed will destroy both beneficiary as well as harmful microbes in the digestive system, which has to be replaced with Probiotics supplements.
Probiotics are the foods and supplements that help in developing beneficiary microbes in the digestive tract. The fermented foods like curd, yogurt, batter contains live cultures of microbes that will favor the beneficiary microbial fauna of the digestive system. Beneficiary bacteria in the capsule, tablet or powder form also available in the market, which can be consumed with proper health checkups to balance the beneficiary microbes. Though probiotics are considered good for developing beneficiary microbial fauna in the individuals, there are few concerns that the strains used in probiotics supplements may not benefit everyone who consumes them.
The beneficiary microbes thrives on food that are rich in plant fibers, hence food that contains plant fibers like vegetables, greens, fruits, whole grains etc., will help to improve the beneficiary microbes in the digestive tract. Sweets, alcohol, processed food, fast foods and animal products are the foods that are to be avoided during the situations of stomach problems associated with microbial imbalance. Certain foods that are known with medicinal benefits like ginger, garlic, onion etc., are also found helpful in developing beneficiary microbial fauna in the digestive system. The microbial fauna is a dynamic body and fluctuates everyday and hence constant monitoring on the kind of food intake is necessary to have good digestive system friendly microbial fauna. The good microbial fauna in the digestive tract will eventually leads to the proper digestion of the food and absorption of nutrients that result in good health of the individuals.
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An enthuiastic author from India