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Surg Clin North Am. 2011 Aug;91(4):755-70, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2011.04.007. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Nutrition and gut immunity.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Surgical Center, The University of Tokyo Hospital, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 1138655, Japan.


The human intestine contains huge amounts of nonpathologic bacteria surviving in an environment that is beneficial to both the host and the bacterial populations. When short pauses in oral intake occur with minimal alterations in the mucosa-microbial interface, critical illness, with its attendant acidosis, prolonged gastrointestinal tract starvation, exogenous antibiotics, and breakdown in mucosal defenses, renders the host vulnerable to bacterial challenge and also threatens the survival of the bacteria. This review examines the altered innate and adaptive immunologic host defenses that occur as a result of altered oral or enteral intake and/or injury.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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