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Intestinal Microecology in Health and Wellness

Floch, Martin H. MD, MACG, AGAF

doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3182309276

Intestinal microecology consists of 4 components—the luminal gastrointestinal tract, secretions of the tract, the epithelium, nutrients and foods that enter the tract, and the microbatome or microflora. This ecosystem is very dynamic. It is not possible to define a normal flora as it varies with geography, diet, and the dynamics of the microecology. A normal flora exists in a healthy human. The life cycle of the intestinal microbatome will vary with geography and feeding. Dysbiosis may occur in disease. At the present time, the flora is best determined from older biochemical techniques and newer genetic bacteriologic studies, but much more research is needed to define the makeup of the microbatome as it varies with diet and geography.

Section of Digestive Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Funding: None.

Dr Floch is a consultant to Dannon and Pfizer and a speaker for Sigmatau and Procter & Gamble.

Reprints: Martin H. Floch, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Section of Digestive Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, 40 Temple Street, Suite 1A, New Haven, CT 06510 (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.