Gut flora is the housekeeper of the digestive system. The state of the house and its ability to fulfill its purposes directly depends on how good the housekeeper is. Anatomical integrity of our digestive tract, its functionality, ability to adapt and regenerate, ability to defend itself and many other functions are directly dependent on the state of its microscopic housekeepers – our gut flora.
Gut flora can be divided in three groups:
1. Essential or beneficial flora (the good guys) are the most numerous in a healthy individual. These bacteria are often referred to as our indigenous friendly bacteria.
2. Opportunistic flora (the bad guys) are normally limited and tightly controlled by the beneficial flora because if they get out of control, they can cause various health problems.
3. Transitional flora are those microbes we swallow with food and drink. When the gut is well protected by the beneficial flora, this group of microbes goes through the digestive system without doing any harm. But if the beneficial flora is damaged and not functioning properly, these microbes can cause disease.