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The fascinating world of intestinal flora: structure, function and ways to strengthen intestinal bacteria

The intestinal flora, also known as the microbiome, is a diverse community of microorganisms that live in the human intestine. It consists mainly of bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and other microbes. This invisible world plays a crucial role in our health and well-being. In this article we will take a closer look at the structure, function and methods for strengthening intestinal bacteria.

Structure of the intestinal flora

The intestinal flora consists of an impressive variety of microorganisms that live in a complex interaction with one another. They are made up of hundreds of different types of bacteria that occur in varying amounts in the intestines. These bacteria can be divided into three main groups:

  1. Bifidobacteria: These bacteria are particularly important for infants because they play a role in the digestion of milk sugar (lactose). They also promote the formation of short-chain fatty acids, which serve as an energy source for intestinal cells.

  2. Lactobacilli: These bacteria are involved in the fermentation of carbohydrates and support the acidic environment in the intestines. They help inhibit harmful microorganisms.

  3. Bacteroides: These bacteria are important for the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and fiber. They produce various metabolic products that are important for intestinal health.

Function of the intestinal flora

The intestinal flora fulfills a number of crucial functions in the body:

  1. Digestion and nutrient absorption: The intestinal bacteria play an important role in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. They help break down complex carbohydrates and fiber that the body could not digest on its own.

  2. Strengthening the immune system: A large part of the immune system is located in the intestine. The intestinal flora helps to stimulate the immune system and protect against pathogens.

  3. Synthesis of vitamins: Certain bacteria in the intestine are able to synthesize vitamins such as vitamin K and some B vitamins, which are essential for the body.

  4. Maintaining intestinal health: A balanced intestinal flora helps keep the intestinal barrier intact and reduces inflammation. This is crucial for preventing intestinal diseases.

Why is strengthening intestinal bacteria important?

The intestinal flora performs a variety of functions, including digesting food, absorbing nutrients, regulating the immune system and synthesizing essential vitamins. An imbalance in gut flora, also known as dysbiosis, can lead to digestive disorders, inflammation, allergies, immune deficiencies and even mental health problems. Therefore, it is crucial to strengthen intestinal bacteria to maintain a balanced and healthy intestinal flora.

Strengthening intestinal bacteria

Strengthening intestinal bacteria is of central importance for health.

Tips for strengthening intestinal bacteria

  1. High-fiber diet: Fiber is the preferred food source for many beneficial intestinal bacteria. Foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds are rich in fiber and promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestines.

  2. Probiotic foods: Probiotics are live bacterial strains that specifically support the intestinal flora. Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and fermented soy products contain natural probiotics that can increase the diversity of gut bacteria.

  3. Probiotic Supplements: If it is difficult to consume enough probiotic foods, supplements may be an option. Be sure to choose high-quality products that contain a wide range of bacterial strains.

  4. Prebiotics: Prebiotics are non-digestible dietary fibers that promote the growth of good intestinal bacteria. Foods like garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, oats and chicory contain natural prebiotics.

  5. Diverse diet: A varied diet promotes a wide variety of intestinal bacteria. The more different types of food you eat, the more diverse your gut flora will be.

  6. Healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, flaxseeds and walnuts, can reduce inflammation in the gut and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

  7. Reducing antibiotics: Excessive use of antibiotics can disrupt the intestinal flora. Use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and work closely with your doctor.

  8. Stress management: Chronic stress can affect gut health. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and regular exercise can help improve gut health.

Strengthening gut bacteria is a crucial step in promoting gut health and overall well-being.

What symptoms can occur if the intestinal flora is disturbed?

Disturbed intestinal flora, also known as dysbiosis, can cause a variety of symptoms and health problems. It is important to note that symptoms may vary from person to person and not all of these symptoms may occur at the same time. Here are some of the most common symptoms of disrupted intestinal flora:

  1. Digestive problems: Dysbiosis can lead to digestive disorders including bloating, gas formation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and irregular bowel habits.

  2. Food intolerances: Impaired intestinal flora can affect the ability of the intestines to digest certain nutrients and foods, which can lead to food intolerances.

  3. Weight gain or loss: Dysbiosis can affect metabolism and lead to unexplained weight gain or loss.

  4. Skin problems: Impaired intestinal flora can affect the skin and worsen skin problems such as acne, eczema, rosacea or psoriasis.

  5. Immunodeficiency: Because much of the immune system is located in the gut, disrupted gut flora can lead to a weakened immune response, which can lead to more frequent infections and increased susceptibility to disease.

  6. Fatigue and lack of energy: Impaired intestinal flora can prevent the body from absorbing nutrients efficiently, which can lead to a lack of energy and chronic fatigue.

  7. Mental Health Issues: The gut is often referred to as the โ€œsecond brainโ€ because it communicates with the brain through what is known as the gut-brain axis. Disturbed intestinal flora can therefore be linked to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and mood swings.
  1. Inflammation: Impaired gut flora can contribute to chronic inflammation in the body, which in turn can be linked to various health problems such as autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and more.

  2. Changes in stool smell and appearance: Noticeable changes in stool in terms of smell, color, consistency and frequency could indicate a disturbed intestinal flora.

  3. Bad breath: Dysbiosis can lead to an unpleasant breath odor that cannot be explained by oral hygiene alone.

If you notice several of these symptoms and have concerns about your gut health, it is advisable to see a doctor or specialist. A professional healthcare professional can conduct appropriate assessments to determine whether a disturbed intestinal flora is present and develop an individualized treatment plan to restore intestinal health.


The intestinal flora is a fascinating and crucial component for our health. Their diverse structure and functions influence many aspects of our well-being. By consciously addressing our diet, lifestyle and ways to strengthen intestinal bacteria, we can help promote healthy and balanced intestinal flora and thus improve our overall health.

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