Diet, Obesity and Intestinal Barrier
Well-known function of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is digestion and absorption of food. A healthy GIT is essential for the proper digestion, absorption and utilization of food. Improper digestion and absorption of food leads to malabsorption, diarrhea, malnutrition and deficiencies of various nutrients. Another important yet less known function of the GIT especially the intestinal tract is to act as a barrier known as the intestinal barrier (IB). IB is formed and strengthened by several constituents which include microbial flora of the lumen of the GIT, mucus blanket produced by the secretion of goblet cells, villi, crypts, Peyer’s patches, tight junction proteins situated in between the enterocytes of villi and follicle associated epithelium of Peyer’s patches and the other layers of the GI wall.