Left banner image adapted from amyloidosis gross node, by Ed Uthman MD, Creative Commons license

Eating bacteria

The intestinal tract contains 500 different bacterial  species that aid in digestion. Most live in the colon, with some in the ileum and potentially other portions of the small intestines. These bacteria digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that were not digested earlier in the GI tract via fermentation. This is also one of the major processes that produce flatulence.

Fancy term for this: commensal bacteria

One such bacterium is acidophilus. Not only is this bacteria  found in the small intestine, it's also in the vagina. And our first exposures to it are when we're born. In fact, multiple bacteria species are present in the vagina  and start building the baby's immune system at birth (this is something missing for C-section babies).

If the intestines stop working properly, these "good" bacteria turn on you, resulting in bacterial overgrowth syndrome.

How much does your body hate you?  It made a deal with bacteria the day you were born that may come back to haunt you!
Bacteroides fragilis, one species of bacteria that normally lives in the gut without problem but that can turn against the intestines under certain circumstances. See full explanation at source.

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