By Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND
Microbiota are living organisms that coat the lining of the stomach, small intestine and the colon, which has the highest concentration. They serve as the front line of defense by protecting against incoming microbes, modulating the immune system, exerting anti-inflammatory activity and maintaining intestinal cell activity. While many factors disturb the intestinal microbiota such as age, stress, and poor hygiene, the wide spread use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has led to the increase and severity of Clostridium difficile (C. diff). C. diff is a spore-forming bacterium that releases toxins in the intestine, causing mucosal inflammation, intestinal damage and diarrhea.