In addition to the tasks of absorbing food and excreting indigestible remains, our intestine is an important part of our immune system. Around 80% of the immune cells are located within our intestines. There is a lifelong and intensive symbiosis between our organism and the bacterial inhabitants. However, this can be negatively influenced by poor nutrition, constant stress, lack of sleep or the intake of medication. As a result, the natural balance in the colonisation between “good” and “bad” intestinal bacteria can get out of control, our intestinal barrier, the intestinal mucosa, becomes permeable to toxins, allergens and foreign germs – our immune defence is weakened.
Certain intestinal bacteria, namely bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, produce butyrate (butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid) in the large intestine, which is the main source of energy for our intestinal epithelium. If it is well supplied, it can perform its many functions: These include the targeted absorption of nutrients and the defence against toxins and pathogens. If the butyric acid level drops, on the other hand, changes occur in the intestinal mucosa – our intestinal barrier is weakened.