Key functions of the gut microbiota:

Humans have a long history of symbiotic interactions with bacteria. We have coevolved with our microbiota over thousands of years, to form a complex and mutually beneficial relationship. Indeed, the gut microbiota performs functions that our human cells are not able to.


Protection against pathogens by:
  • inhibiting their growth;
  • competing with pathogens: the gut microbiota consumes available nutrients and inhabits the available niches, leaving less nutrients and space for pathogens;
  • producing bacteriocins, compounds that inhibit the growth of potentially pathogenic microbes.
Removal of toxic compounds.


Fermentation of food components that are not digested by human enzymes. This fermentation leads to the production of compounds such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs are beneficial compounds, as they are the main source of nutrients of our intestinal cells. SCFAs, by interacting with human cell receptors, are also a key regulator of human physiology and metabolism.
Synthesis of essential vitamins (vitamin K and B).
Modification of bile acids into metabolites that are able to influence human physiology and metabolism.
Increase of the absorption of dietary minerals (magnesium, calcium and iron).


Strengthening of the intestinal barrier.
Training and modulation of the immune system.