Foods: protein, fats and carbs

  • Food provided a protective effect to acid sensitive bacteria, i.e. solid food source can help in the survival of bacteria in an acidic environment
  • The bacteria survived when inoculated into beef or egg white, but not in the case of rice.
  • The fat and protein content in the food is hypothesized to help the organisms survive. Fat molecules are largely hydrophobic, and protect the bacteria against the acidic environment.
  • Carbohydrates (rice) does not offer protection to Salmonella.
  • E, coli 0157:07 needs only a few cells to cause infection. So is also most pathogenic virus, like Norovirus, Hepatitis virus.

The stomach

  • Several different factors can cause the stomach mucus layer to break down, including a bacteria called H. pylori, alcohol, smoking, pain killer drugs (NSAID’s), stress, parasites, infection, etc.
  • Gastric acid is produced by cells in the lining of the stomach, which are coupled in feedback systems to increase acid production when needed. Other cells in the stomach produce bicarbonate, a base, to buffer the fluid, ensuring that it does not become too acidic. These cells also produce mucus, which forms a viscous physical barrier to prevent gastric acid from damaging the stomach. The pancreas further produces large amounts of bicarbonate and secretes bicarbonate through the pancreatic duct to the duodenum to completely neutralize any gastric acid that passes further down into the digestive tract.