Good Bacteria & Gut Flora


Intestinal Tract, LabeledGood Bacteria

Good bacteria are among the intestinal microbes (microscopic parasites) that live in your intestines.  In fact, some bacteria are good and some are bad.  Indeed, it is the good ones that help make up your intestinal flora (or gut flora as some people call it).

Exactly where do the good bacteria live?

First, let’s take a look at the digestive tract where the good bacteria live.  The digestive tract is a long tube that begins at your mouth.  This first section of the digestive tract has a tubular section that runs from your mouth to your stomach.  This is the food pipe (a.k.a. esophagus).  Next, there is another tubular section that runs from your stomach to your anus.  This is the small and large intestine as labelled in the picture.  Again, this tube ends at your anus where your bowel movements exit your body.

The good bacteria and other good microbes are now known to live in the stomach as well as the large intestines.   In fact, these microbes form what can be thought of as a city of good microbes lining the large intestine.  Notably, this city of good microbes that lines the large intestines (a.k.a. colon) is called the intestinal flora.

What does the intestinal flora do?

The intestinal flora consist of many tiny microscopic microbes like good bacteria and fungi that live in the colon.  Actually, they are considered good microbes since they help:

  • Digest your food.
  • Keep bad microbes from taking over your intestines.
  • Keep moisture in your stool.
  • Bulk up your stool and lead to an urge to pass your bowels.
  • Bulk up your stool so the fiber content can act as a broom and sweep your intestines clean.

 

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