One example is vitamin B12, which isn’t found in plants and animals and is only created by bacteria. This means that aside from vitamin supplements, the only other way to get it is from our gut flora.
Protection from disease
Another function of our gut flora is immunity. Some types of bacteria found in our digestive tract can stimulate immune cells, and help break down toxic compounds in food and drink. Aside from this, the bacteria in our digestive tract can also fight off harmful bacteria.
Having a healthy gut flora contributes to stronger immune systems in adulthood, and is particularly important during the development of our immune systems. This is why it is important for babies to develop a healthy gut flora early on in life.
In fact, one procedure, called fecal transplantation, essentially takes good bacteria from another person’s gut and transplants it to another person. This can help treat conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and other diseases that cause inflammation of the digestive tract.
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