Human intestinal flora: composition, task and care

For a long time, science treated the intestinal flora rather poorly. Only recently has more attention been paid to the microbiome in our abdomen - and rightly so: For example, relationships between the composition of the intestinal flora and the psyche could already be established. And it should also play a not insignificant role for body weight. But what exactly is the intestinal flora?
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Die Darmflora:
An ecosystem of our own made up of bacteria

The intestines of every human being are more densely populated than the entire earth: about 100 trillion bacteria live there. The totality of these mostly anaerobic microorganisms is called intestinal flora or microbiome. The term intestinal flora is actually misleading: they were called "flora" because research for a long time wrongly assumed that bacteria were part of the plant world. The tasks of these intestinal bacteria are manifold.

The most important tasks of intestinal bacteria include:

  • supporting the immune system
  • supporting digestion
  • production of vitamins
  • production of short-chain fatty acids
  • stimulation of the intestinal movements for the further transport of the bolus

This influences the structure of the intestinal flora

The structure of the intestinal flora is probably the same for every human being with regard to the bacterial strains represented. What is different, however, is the ratio in which the different bacterial departments are represented. Multiple factors influence this ratio:
  • The intestinal flora of an infant is already pronounced after birth. There is a similarity between the mother's vaginal flora and the child's intestinal flora, especially if it is not a C-section but a natural birth.
  • Even a baby's diet has an effect on the intestinal flora: In breastfeeding children, breast milk ensures that the beneficial lactobacilli and bifidobacteria dominate. With infants fed with milk from bottles, on the other hand, an intestinal flora similar to that of adults can already be observed.
  • Even with advancing age, diet plays a role in the intestinal flora: its structure in vegetarians, for example, differs greatly from that of meat eaters.

What's good for the intestinal flora?

Basically, a healthy and balanced diet is also good for the intestinal flora. Foods rich in dietary fibre such as wholemeal bread, legumes, fruit and vegetables, preferably with peel, are particularly important. The almost indigestible dietary fibres remain in the intestines for a long time and support the predominance of healthy intestinal bacteria - at least 30 grams per day are recommended.

If you have a sensitive intestine, you should slowly approach this amount and start with oat flakes, finely ground wholemeal flour or easily digestible vegetables, for example. So-called prebiotics are also good for the intestinal flora because they promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotic foods are, for example, psyllium seeds, linseed, chicory or black salsify. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut do not suit everyone's taste, but with their lactic acid bacteria they can also contribute to a healthy intestinal flora.

Targeted build-up of intestinal flora

On the other hand, a one-sided diet with many processed finished products is rather unfavourable for the bacterial diversity in the intestine. An incorrect colonization can manifest itself among other things through complaints such as increased susceptibility to infections, intolerances, flatulence and abdominal pain. The use of antibiotics can also have a negative effect on the intestinal flora: although they kill pathogenic bacteria during an infection, they can also extinguish healthy bacterial strains. After ingestion, the intestinal flora often needs to be built up to restore balance.
An effective way is to support intestinal flora growth using BIOMES probiotic supplements. These contain a special combination of helpful micro-organisms that can then reintroduce themselves into the intestine. They can be purchased under the brand BIOM.uniq and are recommended based on the results of the analysis of the intestinal flora with the self-test.

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