Bacteria in the Digestive System

Bacteria live everywhere around us, including inside our body. The bacteria that cause disease are called pathogens. However, there is also useful bacteria that live inside of our body. Preventing the multiplication of pathogens. And also a large amount of bacteria in our digestive system, which play a part in the process of digestion.

Useful bacteria, that live in the digestive system, are mainly located in the large intestine. They also live in some parts of the mall intestine. However, there is no bacteria in the oesophagus or the stomach, as the bacteria can not survive the acidic environment. There are trillions of useful bacteria in our gut which, include around 300 and 1000 different species.

There are many roles bacteria can have in the digestive system, which include:

  • Controlling the growth of harmful bacteria – Preventing them from multiplying and causing disease
  • Breaking down substances that humans can not digest
  • Producing many vitamins that we require, such as vitamin B and vitamin K
  • Breaking down harmful poison in the large intestine – E.g. fibres, as well as some starches and sugars