Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our Stomach as a Sieve

"Orla-Jensen [Dr. Orla-Jensen, a retired professor from the Royal Danish Technical College] and colleagues began by positing, or perhaps assuming is the better word, that a key function of the stomach is to kill bad bacteria with acid. The acid, they argue, serves as a sieve. It stops bad bacteria, particularly the most opportunistic of pathogens, but it does not stop all bacteria. It lets those beneficial bacteria that have adaptations for dealing with stomach acid–adaptations honed over many thousands of generations–on down the gastrointestinal road. In their model, if the stomach fails to kill bad bacteria, pathogens dominate the intestines. They do so in place of the beneficial microbes that help our bodies to digest food and produce nutrients."

The Sieve Hypothesis: Clever Study Suggests an Alternate Explanation for the Function of the Human Stomach | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network