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We owe our health to good bacteria.

Intestinal flora, also known as microbiota, is the integrity of living organisms in the intestines. These are called good and bad bacteria and are in a balance within themselves. There are 100 trillion (about 1.5 kilos) bacteria in the body, and 70 percent of these bacteria are in the intestines. “Scientific research shows that many diseases occur with the decrease of good bacteria in the intestines,” said Internal Medicine Specialist Prof. Dr. Osman Erk explained the effects of our gut health on our overall body health as follows:

Bacterial balance is very important

All of the microorganisms in the gut are collectively called the gut flora or microbiota. The vast majority (80%) of the intestinal flora consists of beneficial bacteria, and up to 20% of potentially bad bacteria, yeast and fungi (such as E.coli, candida). Changing this ratio in favor of bad bacteria puts our health at risk. Because the microbiota formed by the good bacteria in our intestines creates a barrier on the intestinal cells, preventing toxic substances, foreign substances and bacteria from the external environment from harming the body. In summary, good bacteria are the body’s most important safety barrier. If this barrier is broken, harmful substances, bad bacteria and fungi enter the body and blood circulation, causing various diseases.


According to scientific research, the higher the number of bad bacteria in our intestines, the higher our risk of developing certain diseases. Here are those diseases:

leaky gut syndrome

Improper nutrition (consuming too much calories, consuming too much sugar and processed food), antibiotics, antirheumatic drugs, cortisone type drugs, painkillers and cancer drugs disrupt the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the intestines, weakening the safety barrier created by good bacteria. Therefore, it can cause disease-causing microorganisms and toxic substances to enter the body. This condition in which intestinal permeability is impaired is called leaky gut syndrome. This condition can often cause poorly defined bowel complaints, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, allergic reactions and rheumatic diseases.


It is a well-known fact that people who consume the same amount of calories and do the same physical activity have different weights. It is the number and type of bacteria in the intestines that make this difference. Firmicutes bacteria, which are among the two large groups of good bacteria that have the ability to digest complex carbohydrates in grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, have the ability to convert complex carbohydrates into more simple sugars. If Firmicutes bacteria are more, more carbohydrates are digested, absorbed and weight is gained. Bacteriodes type bacteria have less ability to digest complex carbohydrates. The more Bacteroides an individual has, the lower the probability of obesity.


Short-chain fatty acids, which occur as a result of the processing of unabsorbed carbohydrates and fibers by the good bacteria in the intestinal microflora, have a positive effect on the nutrition and regeneration of intestinal cells and have an inhibitory effect on the development of cancer in the large intestines.


Today, there are many findings that indicate that bad bacteria play a role in the formation of diabetes, and that the development of diabetes is prevented as the good bacteria in the intestines increase. Today and in the future, scientists focus on the contribution of the microbiome-diabetes relationship to the treatment of the disease.

cardiovascular diseases

It has been understood that the chemical substance called TMAO, which is found at high levels in the blood of people with cardiovascular disease, is of intestinal origin. For this reason, it is thought that the number and type of microorganisms in the intestines may even lead to coronary heart diseases.

Ways to protect gut health

A low-calorie diet low in refined carbohydrates (flour, sugar) for intestinal health; A diet rich in vegetables and fruits should be made. Fermented foods such as pickles, yogurt, ayran, kefir, cheese, boza, vinegar contain a large amount of probiotics (good bacteria). Of course, natural ones of these foods should be preferred. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that reach the large intestine without being digested from the stomach and small intestines, enabling the development and reproduction of beneficial bacteria there. In other words, they are food sources of probiotics. Vegetables and fruits such as Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, onion, garlic, leek, artichoke, asparagus, and banana are prebiotic foods. Consuming them in a balanced way is important for intestinal health.

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