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Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthen Immune System

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Glynis Steele, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Glynis Steele

    Glynis Steele Senior Member

    Newcastle upon Tyne UK
    ScienceDaily (July 2, 2012) — Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial germs. This was the result of experiments by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Stephanie Ganal at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the Freiburg University Medical Center.

    The study was published in the current online edition of the Cell Press journal Immunity.
    Trillions of bacteria reside in the intestines of healthy humans as well as those of many animals. This natural intestinal flora contributes to digestion and the metabolism of vitamins and is of critical importance for the host organism. Recent research has shown that the intestinal flora also plays an important role in the formation of the immune system in the intestines and that changes to it can increase the risk of food allergies or chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases. "It was previously unclear to what extent the intestinal flora also influences immunological processes outside of the intestines, such as the defense against viral germs like the flu virus, and that was the main question of our work," explain the scientists.

    The research team infected two groups of mice with various viral germs. One group had a normal intestinal flora and the other consisted of so-called axenic mice, which do not have any intestinal flora due to having been treated with antibiotics or bred under particularly clean conditions. The immune response in the axenic mice was greatly reduced and led the disease to take a more severe course than in the healthy mice. When the scientists artificially provided the axenic mice with a healthy intestinal flora, their immune response improved.

    "This is the first time anyone has shown that changes in the natural intestinal flora resulting from antibiotics, hygiene, or lifestyle can have substantial consequences for the entire immune system," says Diefenbach.

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  2. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    very interesting, and also very discomforting to those of us on long term abx. Thanks for posting.
  3. globalpilot

    globalpilot Senior Member

    Interesting but then again, in reality, none of use have no flora. It will be intersting to see what results they get if they test mice on antibiotics and an altered flora vs conventional flora.
  4. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    A course of antibiotics (following two root extractions) did wonders for my GI problems - guess I had the wrong bacteria somewhere. High intake of probiotics now goes down very well too.

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