The Human Gastro-Intestinal System

  • A complex “ecosystem” typically containing 500+ different species of bacteria often referred to collectively as the “microflora”.
  • The total number of bacteria in the GI system far exceeds the total number of tissue cells which make up the human body.
  • The total weight of bacteria in the GI System is approx. 3.5lbs.
  • The basic function of the microflora is to act as a barrier to harmful bacteria (microbial pathogens) which can cause illness & disease.
  • The most common group of bacteria indigenous to the human GI is known as Bifidobacteria. Others include Lactobacillus acidophilus & casei.
  • Our general level of health depends to a large extent upon the condition of the friendly bacteria in our GI system and their ability to control harmful bacteria.
  • A diet rich in complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, grains etc.) encourages high levels of bifidobacterium in adults. A meat rich diet has the opposite effect.