Most people have a passing knowledge of the food they eat, and perhaps how it gets digested. As with all human body systems, however, details of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract—including the incredibly rich microbial flora found at the last portion of the small intestine and the entire large intestine—are an amazing testimony to creation.
Indeed, on a given day the bacterial population within the human colon usually doubles at least once. This means the common Escherichia coli (E. coli) must replicate (duplicate) its circular chromosome in just 20 short minutes.
The replication of millions of base pairs of DNA is a daunting task in such a small area. The E. coli chromosome must spin at the equivalent of 300 revolutions per second as it makes a second chromosome for upcoming cell division.
A host of unique and diverse bacteria inhabit the large intestine—over 400 bacterial species—and most of them are anaerobic (living in the absence of free oxygen) and are concerned with the production of vitamins K (a fat-soluble vitamin critical in blood clotting) and B.1 It is therefore important to maintain this microbial flora. As long as these bacteria stay put within the GI tract, they do not cause problems; but when they are released into the body cavity or bloodstream (bacteremia), they can cause severe or fatal conditions such as septicemia. This may occur through accidents (or other types of trauma) or disease….
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