Reference Number: 224
Fermentation, the process whereby anerobic bacteria (and yeasts) break down dietary and
other substrates to obtain energy for growth and the maintenance of cellular function, is an important component of normal large bowel activity. Evidence that fermentation occurs in man may be adduced from various observations. The human colon contains a rich and diverse bacterial population of predominantly saccharolytic species which synthesize many enzymes necessary for the catabolism
of a wide variety of carbohydrates, the principal substrate for fermentation.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
This review looks at the current state of knowledge regarding fermentation in the human large intestine. It suggests that more research is needed to improve our depth of understanding, particularly in relation to health problems of the large intestine and possibly other diseases too.