Gut Microorganisms. Within the colon can be found bacteria that are beneficial to health. They also synthesise certain B vitamins: biotin, folate and vitamin B12. However it is believed that the B12 produces is not assimilated into the body. As B12 is such an essential vitamin and is not contained within a Vegan diet, it is important that Vegans obtain the vitamin through supplementing, for example in fortified plant based milks. The bacteria also synthesise Vitamin K which is required for blood clotting.
Other benefits include:
- They produce P450 like enzymes which aid in detoxification.
- Enhance the absorption of nutrients.
- Combat diarrea.
- Interact with the immune system to improve resistance.
- They are antimutagenic and anti-tutor and are therefore protective from developing Colon cancer.
- They are protect against developing what is referred to as ‘leaky gut’ (increased intestinal permeability) in which substances can enter the body which are then reacted upon by the immune system.
Bacterial imbalances (Dysbiosis) can also affect the levels of oestrogen. Gut bacteria also require energy and nutrients. These are called Prebiotics and come in the form of Fructooligosaccharides, which include: onion, burdock root, asparagus, rye, Jerusalem artichokes, banana, sugar maple, Chinese chive, garlic.