Originally Posted by teaser
Whoops. I must have said that with too straight a face.
The one kind of "gut lining munching" bacteria I know anything about seems to actually be good for the gut lining. A few years ago a post on the Free the Animal blog called something like Attention low carbers; your gut bugs aren't that into you or some such looked at some low carber's gut bacteria population. Akkermansia Mucophilia was increased, they like the protective mucin coating in mammals guts. So the article was about how we're all likely to get leaky gut. So I looked up this gut bug, the studies in mice all showed a protective effect--they do ferment mucin, but they also signal the goblet cells that produce mucin to produce more--the gut actually ends up better protected. In mice, the connection between leaky gut, fatty liver and insulin resistance is fairly robust, these Akkermansia protect against this.
I'd like to offer a slightly different point of view about what the gut lining is. Or rather, what we think it is.
Consider the skin, it's a few layers of living cells, including the outermost layer exposed to air. Skin is not so different from gut lining in the way that it protects what's underneath. The gut too is composed of a few layers of living cells, with a layer (innermost, since it faces inward rather than outward) exposed to food and stuff. The skin secretes stuff which then forms a very thin layer of non-living stuff. The gut then would also secrete a similar layer of non-living stuff. But bear in mind, this layer would be extremely thin, both for the skin and for the gut. So thin in fact, we can't see it with our eyes. For the skin, we could call this the skin lining, if we call that layer of non-living stuff that lines the gut, the gut lining.
If the above is true, how much matter is there for gut bugs to use for their purpose? Very little, methinks. Just like there's very little matter for skin bugs to use for their purpose. Bear in mind, that layer of non-living stuff, its primary function is to protect what's underneath, not to feed what's on top of it. So, there's little stuff, and what little stuff there is, isn't intended to benefit the bugs.
If that's also true, the alternative point of view here is that gut bugs actually construct their own layer of stuff on top of whatever is already lining the gut. For their own purpose. To protect themselves.
Finally, gut bugs don't belong in the small intestine (nor in the upper digestive tract), they cause mucho trouble there. The colon is their place. This means if the bugs thrive on our lining or theirs, if it's not in the colon, it's no bueno guaranteed.