Contributions of intestinal bacteria to nutrition and metabolism in the critically ill

Surg Clin North Am. 2011 Aug;91(4):771-85, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2011.05.001.


Important advances in the study of bacteria associated with the human gastrointestinal tract have significant implications for clinicians striving to meet the metabolic and nutritional needs of critically ill patients. This article offers a broad overview of the importance of the host-microbe relationship, discusses what is currently known about the role of gut microbes in nutrition and metabolism in the healthy human host, reviews how gut microbes are affected by critical illness, and discusses interventions that have already been used to manipulate the gut microbiome in patients in the intensive care unit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Critical Illness*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Fasting
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Vitamins / metabolism


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Vitamins