Of microbes and men: role of colonic short-chain fatty acids on epithelial barrier
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Interactions between the microbiota and distal gut are important regulars of intestinal homeostasis and overall health. Colonic microbes, once regarded as pathologic, are now recognized to be protective and mutualistic. These bacteria ferment undigested carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Butyrate, while the least abundant of the SCFAs, is the primary energy source for the colonic epithelium and a decreased concentration of butyrate has been associated with a number of colonic diseases including inflammatory bowel disease. My dissertation examines the role of butyrate on enhancing ...