Gut Microflora, Nutrition and Health

Course Coordinator

ECTS points:

poslijediplomski specijalistički

Course number:
54283 (DN), 54284 (DUSH)

Course Description


1. The role of intestinal microflora in the intestinal tract

L: Human microbiome. Composition of intestinal microflora (microbiota). Historical overview of the impact of intestinal microflora in the host health. Modern systems used for the research of intestinal microflora composition, its metabolic activity and its role in the organism. The share of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium) in the autochthonous intestinal microflora and their impact on health.

S: Phenotypic and genotypic identification and characterisation of bacteria in the intestinal tract. Metabolic activity of intestinal microflora in the intestinal tract.

L: Sources of nutrients for the microbial population of the colon. The main products of bacterial metabolism in the intestinal tract. The role of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the intestinal tract. Molecular mechanisms of adaptation of lactic acid bacteria to stress conditions in the gastrointestinal tract.

E: Research of survival of lactic acid bacteria in the simulated conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.

2. Influence of nutrition on intestinal microflora

L: Influence of nutrition on composition and metabolic activity of colon microflora. Influence of probiotics and prebiotic substrates on intestinal microflora. Inulin type fructan, galactooligosaccharides and xylooligosaccharides – production and application. Bifidogenic and butyrogenic effects.

E: Determination of autoaggregation and coaggregation properties of selected probiotic bacteria.

3. Influence of intestinal microflora balance disorder on health

L: Causes of intestinal microflora balance disorders. Connection of intestinal microflora composition with the occurrence of metabolic disorders and diseases. Nutritional and microbial modulation of carcinogenesis in the intestinal tract. Models of microbial cells adhesion to intestinal epithelial cells and competitve exclusion of pathogenic bacteria. Concept of pharmaco-metabolomics. Intestinal microflora as the target of a new therapeutic strategy.

S: Influence of intestinal microflora composition on the occurrence of metabolic disorders and diseases.

E: In vitro research of antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria against selected species of Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Escherichia genus.


  • compare the presence of microbial communities in specific sites of human body
  • explain the role of autochthonous, allochthonous and opportunistic microorganisms in the composition of intestinal microflora
  • critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of application of Mac/Gac system and gnobiotic animals in the study of intestinal microflora, food and host health interactions
  • compare the role of culture independed molecular methods in defining composition, genetic potential and function of intestinal microflora
  • explain the impact of the availability of carbohydrates and proteins as well as intestinal microflora composition in the colon on the presence of certain bacterial metabolism products and critically evaluate their beneficial and adverse effects
  • perform in vitro evaluation of lactic acid bacteria survival in simulated conditions of the gastrointestinal tract
  • evaluate the impact of probiotics, prebiotics and other food ingredients on intestinal microbiota biodiversity
  • explain the importance of aggregation properties for adhesion and colonization of bacteria in the intestinal tract
  • explain the impact of metabolic activity of intestinal microflora (microbiota) on the health of the host and explain how imbalance in the intestinal microbiota composition affects the occurrence of metabolic disorders and diseases
  • determine the antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria against bacterial species from Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Echerichia genus by turbidimetric method
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