Anaerobic Bacteria, the Colon and Colitis

Aust N Z J Surg. 1980 Feb;50(1):73-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.1980.tb04500.x.


Anaerobic bacteria constitute more than 90% of the bacteria in the colon. An anaerobic environment is needed to maintain their growth and the production of short-chain fatty acids by these bacteria from carbohydrates. Short-chain fatty acids are rapidly absorbed and essential for metabolic as well as functional welfare of the colonic mucosa. The importance of these acids in water absorption and in the patogenesis of colitis is discussed in relation to the concept of "energy deficiency diseases" of the colonic mucosa.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Colitis / etiology
  • Colitis / microbiology*
  • Colitis / physiopathology
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Colon / physiology
  • Humans