Intestinal microflora physiology and functions

The normal flora Gibson amp Macfarlane, 1995 Bacterial numbers and composition vary considerably along the human gastrointestinal tract. The total bacterial count in gastric contents is usually below 103 g, with numbers being kept low due to the acid lumen pH. In the small intestine, numbers range from approximately 104 ml contents to about 106-107 ml at the ileocaecal region. The main factors limiting growth in the small bowel are the rapid transit of contents and secretion of bile and...

Human studies on the effects of food and food components

Among the components likely to be used in functional foods, prebiotics and probiotics are already used as food ingredients. Probiotics have been variously defined Fuller, 1991, 1992 Havenaar amp Huis in't Veld, 1992 largely on the basis of their initial use in animal feeds. For the purposes of human nutrition we suggest that a probiotic is best defined as 'a live microbial food ingredient that is beneficial to health'. A prebiotic is a 'nondigestible food ingredient that beneficially affects...